• British Open champion Stenson back in top five

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    PARIS: Henrik Stenson moved back into the top five of the world golf rankings on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), after sealing his first major title with a thrilling victory over Phil Mickelson in the British Open.

    The 40-year-old Swede held off the challenge of the American to win in a record Open score of 20 under par, and he jumps above Bubba Watson to world number five.

    Despite remaining without a win since his Open triumph in 2013, Mickelson leaps to 13th, his highest ranking since September 2014.

    Australian Jason Day retains his lead over Dustin Johnson as world number one, after both failed to contend at Royal Troon.

    Spaniard Sergio Garcia picked up his 22nd top-10 finish in major tournaments, and moves back into the world’s top 10 for the first time in over a year.

    Stenson believes his unexpected British Open victory can be the springboard for a sustained run of success.

    Stenson had arrived at Troon last week regarded as an outsider for the title after a frustrating run at the majors that culminated in his withdrawal from last month’s US Open after playing 16 holes of his second round in 10 over par.

    But the 40-year-old Swede stormed to his first major crown with rounds of 68, 65 and 68 followed by a joint record 63 on Sunday to hold off a strong challenge from Phil Mickelson.

    Having climbed to fifth in the new world rankings, Stenson, who had only a handful of top four finishes at the majors on his CV, hopes this is the beginning of a lengthy spell in contention for the sport’s top prizes.

    “We’re only just getting started, aren’t we?” Stenson said on Monday, 24 hours after becoming only the second player to finish a major in 20 under par.

    “You never know once you open the floodgates what might happen.

    “We’ve got a big schedule this summer. It’s the PGA in a week’s time (at Baltusrol) and then the Olympics. I was going to have a nice couple of relaxed days back home with the family, but it’s all good things that will happen.

    “And of course I’m going to be out there trying my hardest in a week’s time at the PGA.”

    Stenson didn’t have long to celebrate lifting the Claret Jug before flying to Switzerland early on Monday morning to take part in Ryder Cup teammate Garcia’s charity event.

    AFP

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