Mon, Jun 17, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Selfie with Stenson eases pain for fan hit at the US Open

AFP and Reuters, PEBBLE BEACH, California

Henrik Stenson took a slight detour on the way to his share of ninth place at the US Open on Saturday, posing for a selfie with a fan hit by an errant shot at the 16th hole at Pebble Beach.

The Swede ripped an eight-iron second shot that flew into the gallery behind the green.

“I clipped the guy right on the forehead,” Stenson said. “It was a semi-shank, it wasn’t a full one. That would have been better, because then it probably would have hit the trees.”

When Stenson — who finished with a one-under 70 to join a group sharing ninth place on four-under — went over to check on the man and offer an apology, he was relieved to see he hadn’t caught him in the eyes or teeth.

“He’s in good spirits, because he’s taking selfies of himself while he’s down on the ground,” Stenson said. “I walk up to him. I said: ‘I’m sorry.’ What else can you say?”

“And he says: ‘Can you do me one favor? Can I take a picture with you?’” Stenson said. “So next thing I’m down on the ground as well, taking a picture, a selfie, laying down with him and his girlfriend.”

Stenson said that he felt the fan “had maybe one or two refreshments that might have eased the pain before the strike.”

Stenson planned to follow up to make sure the man was OK.

“I might send him more than just one golf ball next time. I might send him a couple dozen or something to try to make up for my poor shot,” he said.

At the top of the leaderboard, Gary Woodland had a one-shot lead.

Woodland’s two-under 69 featured three birdies and a lone bogey, but with his four-shot lead trimmed to two, and Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka stalking him, it was par saves at 12 and 14 that were key to his round.

“When I chipped in on 12 and made the long putt on 14 for par, he [Rose] executed putts right after that on top of that,” Woodland said.

“I’m just trying to stay within myself. I’m trying to extend the lead. I’m trying to execute everything to the best of my ability, and I’ve done that really well,” he said.

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