Rio 2016: Open champion Henrik Stenson targets Olympic gold

    british open henrik stenson win intv_00004722
    british open henrik stenson win intv_00004722


      Henrik Stenson wins 1st major title


    Henrik Stenson wins 1st major title 02:23

    Story highlights

    • "Dream come true," says Henrik Stenson of first major win
    • Swede clinched first major title at 42nd attempt
    • Phil Mickelson three shots behind
    • Pair finish 11 shots clear of fieldat Troon

    Troon, Scotland (CNN)He has just achieved his childhood dream, but Henrik Stenson is already dreaming of new triumphs.

    The 40-year-old Swede wore down Phil Mickelson in an epic battle to clinch the Claret Jug at Royal Troon, and is looking to add to his fledgling major haul and perhaps throw in an Olympic gold medal and the Ryder Cup in the next few weeks.
      Stenson shot a blistering 63 for a major record-equalling total of 20 under par as he edged the 46-year-old Mickelson by three shots on a scintillating final day of the British Open in Scotland.
      But now the first Scandinavian man to win a major hopes the "floodgates" can open so he can bring home more silverware for his three young kids -- six-year-old Karl, apparently, is fed up with dad coming home empty handed after another close call.
      "It's a dream come true," Stenson, now the world No. 5, told CNN Sport's Alex Thomas in an interview at Royal Troon's clubhouse Sunday.
      "I started the playing game when I was 11. Footage from the Open Championship and the Ryder Cup are the first memories I had as a kid. I dreamed about standing there with the Claret Jug and now it's finally come true. I'm extremely happy.
      "When you're coming off a fresh win you're always eager to get back out there and do it again. I've got another opportunity in two weeks in the last major of the year in the U.S. and then we've got the Olympics and the Ryder Cup. There's a lot of golf to be played and I going to try to get another one as soon as I can."
      Stenson dedicated his win to close friend Mike Gerbich who died of cancer this week, and said he had an inkling it was his time to win a major after a number of near misses.
      "I really felt like I played for him this week," added the former world No.2 who was second behind Mickelson at the Open at Muirfield in 2013. "He was with me out there and it just felt like it was going to be my week.
      "I've had a fantastic career. This game has given me so much over the years -- all the memories, seen the world, playing with some of the best players in the world, competing against them. With or without a major I would have been very proud with what I've accomplished. This is the icing on the cake."
      Stenson, who also won in Germany recently, will play in the U.S. PGA at Baltusrol in New Jersey from July 27-31 before heading to Rio for the Olympic golf event in August.
      He is not concerned about the threat of the zika virus, and joked this week how being almost middle-aged had its benefits, given he is not planning more children. A number of top players who have pulled out of the Games have cited the virus, which is linked to microcephaly -- small heads -- in babies, as their reason for not going.
      "For once being 40 gives me a competitive advantage," said Stenson, in the wake of withdrawals by the world's top four -- Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
      In September, he will compete in a fourth Ryder Cup for against the U.S.A at Hazeltine -- with Mickelson likely opposition.
      A Sunday singles match-up would be mouth-watering after the titanic Troon tussle, although Stenson is not so sure.
      "It's always fun to be play against Phil but it's very tiring at the same time," said Stenson. "He's such a good player he's got the short game only matched by a few -- Seve Ballesteros comes to mind.
      "It's a tiring game to play because he never gives up and always comes back at you and he did so this week. I managed to beat him once so I'm willing to give it a try. Or maybe I can rest and let someone else have a go."
      A disappointed Mickelson said he was "happy for Henrik", a long-time friend who he describes as having a great sense of humor and being a "good prankster."
      When asked which pranks rank among his best, Stenson told CNN: "There's been so many. I'll explain some of them in the book."
      Meanwhile, golf great Jack Nicklaus has tweeted that the final round contest between Stenson and Nicklaus was one of "the best rounds I've ever seen played in the Open."
      Nicklaus, who was beaten by Tom Watson in the famous "Duel in the Sun" Open in an epic battle at Turnberry in 1977, added: "I thought we played great and had a wonderful match.
      "On that day, Tom got me 65-66. Our final round was really good, but theirs was even better. What a great match."