PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Henrik Stenson had just hit his second shot on the 16th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on Saturday.
Stenson admits he didn't hit his 8-iron well -- the Swede described the shot as a "rocket" and "semi-shank" -- and knew his ball was headed right and toward the fans standing behind the green.
When Stenson reached the patrons, he saw a man lying on the ground. The fan had a large knot on his head, about the size of half of a golf ball. TV replays showed the ball bouncing high in the air after hitting the man's head.
"They can't see anything -- I can't see where it's going, either -- and [the ball] clipped the guy right in the forehead," Stenson said. "Luckily, I mean, you can get hit worse places. The head is never a good place to hit, but at least not the eyes or teeth or anything."
Stenson hoped the fan was OK because he was lying on the ground taking selfies of himself.
Never great to see a ball smash into a fan, but wow, @henrikstenson is a class act in mopping up the damage on 16. Even took time to lie down with the victim while receiving treatment. "Go kick arse," the 'victim' told him. Awesome interaction. #fanforlife #USOpen pic.twitter.com/iefdKhyOpW— Mark Hayes (@Hayesy24) June 16, 2019
"I said, 'I'm sorry,'" Stenson said. "What else can you say?"
According to Stenson, the fan replied, "Can you do me one favor? Can I take a picture with you?"
"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. "It feels like he's had maybe one or two refreshments that might have eased the pain before the strike."
Medical personnel treated the fan and took him away.
Stenson ended up with a bogey on the hole. He finished 1-under 70, for a 54-hole total of 4-under, which is tied for ninth.
After finishing the 16th hole, Stenson checked with USGA officials about the fan's condition.
"I don't know if he's got a concussion," Stenson said. "I asked for his details so I can contact him at a later date and check up on him. 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."