Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson believes he can be the man to end the wait for a first Scandinavian Major Champion after his runner-up finish at The Open Championship.
The 37 year old Swede finished three shots behind Phil Mickelson at Muirfield after a closing one under par 70 left him level par for the week.
Mickelson birdied four of his last six holes, and Stenson admitted that he was caught off-guard by the American’s late surge.
“I've felt the support from the Swedes and a lot of the crowds in general today,” he said. “And of course I want to make it happen, but all you can do is ask to give yourself a chance and I did that.
“I said to my caddie when I made the birdie on 17, maybe I can hole the second shot on 18 and get a play-off. And then I saw Mickelson birdied again, and I said, a hole-in-one is pushing it, I think!
“It was just to finish in strong style to keep second on my own and I did that. We're getting closer. I have got two thirds and now a second., we all know what we're looking for.
“Some other time I'll hopefully finish as strong as Phil did. I'll be sitting here with a slightly different silverware. We'll be back trying again, and I can't be disappointed with my performance.
“I can ask for a little bit better or a little bit more of my game this week. I know I can do better with my game, but it's obviously been very, very close with the game I brought this week, and sometimes it's about the score, not just the way you hit the ball and such. So I take a lot of positives and we'll be back trying again.
“I'm very pleased with my performance over the week and today more so than yesterday. I thought I was in a good frame of mind and played some good golf.”