SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – It wasn’t exactly the Henrik Stenson we last saw charging his way to his first major, but it was good enough.
Playing in the afternoon as the winds increased and the greens became less dependable, the Swede made the turn at even par before slowly working himself back into contention.
Stenson birdied the 12th and 15th holes and closed his round with a birdie at the par-5 18th hole to finish at 3-under 67, two strokes off the lead held by Jimmy Walker.
“We had that weather system kind of moving around here. At times you could have three different winds within 30 seconds,” Stenson said. “That makes it harder to get it tight, even if you hit a good shot, you might not get the wind right.”
Although his score didn’t come close to his epic final round at Royal Troon, Stenson said he was pleased with his ball-striking on Day 1 and hoped to work on his feel on the greens before he tees off on Friday.
He also said that the short turnaround from The Open has been a bonus and that he doesn’t feel fatigued.
“I feel I can carry that momentum I had at The Open, and I guess the start shows that we're not too far away when we teed it up again,” he said.