NORTON, Mass. — Henrik Stenson is starting to hit his stride at a good time.
Coming off a runner-up finish in the opening FedEx Cup playoff event last week, Stenson erased a five-shot deficit in seven holes Sunday and played bogey-free for a 6-under 65 at the Deutsche Bank Championship. His only birdie on the back nine was a two-putt on the par-5 18th that gave him a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler.
“It’s a good time to start playing well,” said Stenson, who was at 13-under 200. “It’s a big event and lots to play for. I’m happy with the progress I made, and it gave me a little bit of a confidence boost last week that I had a nice tournament. I hope I can have another one here tomorrow.”
Fowler had a 67, missing out on a chance to share the lead when his 5-iron into the 18th was too strong and he had to scramble to salvage a par. Sean O’Hair (67) and Matt Jones (68) were two shots behind.
They all took advantage of a collapse by Charley Hoffman, who blazed his way to victory at the TPC Boston five years ago. After opening with a birdie, Hoffman put his second shot into the hazard at the par-5 second hole and made bogey, and it slipped away from there.
PGA champion Jason Day would have to win the Deutsche Bank to go to No. 1 in the world, and the Australian finally hit the wall. Day made a double bogey on the reachable par-4 fourth hole and never quite recovered. He had a 73, his first round over par since closing with a 74 at the U.S. Open in June.
“There’s no excuse for poor playing,” said Day, who was nine shots out of the lead. “I just wish I had a little bit more energy.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports Images
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