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Published: 20:39 | 16/7/16

Stenson looking forward to Mickelson challenge


Henrik Stenson is looking forward to his final-round Open battle with Phil Mickelson at Royal Troon on Sunday.

The Swede leads the Open going into the final day, on 12 under par after 54 holes following his third-round 68.

It is the first time that Stenson has led after 54 holes of a major, on his 41st start, and the 40-year-old says he is happy with his form after battling through 25mph winds on Saturday to post a three-under round that included three birdies in the first four holes.

"You want to get a few birdies in early and it was a fast start, then I had a couple of wobbles on five and eight," he told Sky Sports.

"But I played a really solid last six or seven holes into the wind.

"I'm playing really nicely and I know Phil will not back off, he is one of the finest players to have played in the last 50 years but I'm right where I want to be."

Mickelson beat Stenson into second place at Muirfield in the 2013 Open Championship, with the American winning by three shots after four birdies in the last six holes, and 'Lefty' says he is looking forward to renewing the rivalry on Sunday.

"Henrik and I have played a lot more holes together over the years in Ryder Cups and majors. I enjoy playing with him, I respect him and we will have a good final round," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Mickelson, who signed for a one-under 70 to finish 11-under, says he struggled in comparison to his opening two rounds.

Lefty was eight-under after the opening day, and followed up on Friday with a two-under 69.

"It was a day when I didn't have my best day, My rhythm was out of sorts. I am looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow," he continued.

"Tomorrow I have to get my rhythm back, play like I did the first couple of days and shoot a good score."

Day 4 of the Open Championship is live on eir Sport on Sunday.

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