Henrik Stenson poses for selfie with fan after hitting him with ball

Henrik Stenson figured the least he could do after hitting a fan at the U.S. Open with an errant 8-iron was to pose for a selfie.

Henrik Stenson poses for selfie with fan after hitting him with ball

Henrik Stenson figured the least he could do after hitting a fan at the U.S. Open with an errant 8-iron was to pose for a selfie.

Stenson’s approach shot Saturday on the 16th at Pebble Beach went into the gallery behind the green and hit a young man square in the forehead.

“I hit one of those famous like rockets almost, it was a semi shank, it wasn’t a full one. That would have been better, because then it would probably have hit the trees,” Stenson said. “But it was a nice flight out to the right, shot it forward, but they can’t see anything, I can’t see where it’s going either, and clipped the guy right in the forehead.”

Stenson went over to check on the man and apologise for the wayward shot and was relieved to see he was feeling OK and hadn’t been hit in the eyes or mouth.

“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 favour? 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.”

MARKER MAN

Pebble Beach director of golf John Sawin missed a chance to qualify for the U.S. Open at his home course when he fell short at sectionals.

That didn’t stop him from getting the chance to tee off on the weekend. With an odd number of players making the cut, Sawin served as the marker for Justin Walters and was part of the first group of the day.

Sawin said he has only played the course about 20 times since coming to work here about a year and a half ago. But he did play it once last week after it had been set up for U.S. Open conditions.

I was the last person to run around before sunset on Friday night and the USGA took it over on Saturday,” he said. “Before that I hadn’t played it in six weeks. I spent a lot of time on the golf course, but not with my full set of clubs.

EARNING POWER

Whoever was crowned US Open champion in the small hours of today is $2.25m richer for the achievement. The overall purse for the 2019 US Open was $12.5m which is half a million of an increase on 2018, reported golf.com Second place earned greater than one million dollars at $1.35m with third taking away $830,466. Fourth earns $582,175 and fifth almost $4854,000.

RATINGS NEWS

Sky Sports, with its subscription model, may fail to dial in the big numbers in terms of US Open viewing figures, but they are out there for a venue like Pebble Beach. American host broadcaster Fox recorded the largest TV audience for the second day (Friday) of the U.S. Open in seven years.

Fox said it averaged 2,096,000 viewers for the 10 hours of coverage on Fox and FS1. That was an increase of 34% over last year when the tournament was played at Shinnecock Hills in New York. Fox averaged 2.914m viewers for its prime-time coverage from 7.30-10.30 pm FS1 posted an average of 1.74m for its seven hours of daytime coverage.

LEFTY’S BIRTHDAY BONUS

The final round of the US Open didn't just fall on Father's Day - it was also Phil Mickelson’s birthday, and the fans at Pebble Beach showed their appreciation by serenading Lefty before yesterday's closing 18. Mickelson turned 49 and though he’s still never won a US Open, the fans love him all the same. As Phil arrived on the range to prepare for the final round, a large group of spectators watching him broke into song, singing the familiar “Happy Birthday” tune to the five-time major champ.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox