Henrik Stenson has been knocking on the door at major championships recently. His T3 at the 96th PGA Championship is his fourth top-5 in a major since last year. A lip out on 14, and a mud ball on 18 kept him from winning his first major at Valhalla, but don’t expect Stenson to remain major-less for long.
The 38-year-old from Sweden shot a five-under 30 on the front nine, and added a birdie on 13 to tie Fowler and Mickelson for the lead at 15-under.
Henrik said, “I got off to a great start, hit some great shots, hit some great putts. Made a bomb on 9 to make the turn 5‑under. I had the momentum going.”
He added, “The only really bad thing that happened to me was the par putt on 14. It was a good birdie putt down the hill left to right, and I thought I had a great putt. It looked good for a long time, but just went about three, three and a half feet by, and put a bad stroke on the next one. Missed that one.”
The reachable par-5 18th was Stenson’s last chance to catch McIlroy, but he hit his second shot into the gallery on the left. “It was a lot of mud on the right side of the ball. It’s hard to say what’s what. I don’t think I put the best swing on it either. I probably gave it a bit of a left turn.”
A par at the last gave Stenson a stellar 66, and the confidence to get the job done at a future major.