Stenson says Shinnecock was 'a little bit over the line'

After enduring a huge struggle on the back nine in the third round, Henrik Stenson said Shinnecock Hills was perhaps too harsh.

Henrik Stenson   -  (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson believes Shinnecock Hills was "a little bit over the line" during the third round of the U.S. Open.

The course proved a brutal test on Saturday and a number of players voiced their displeasure with the setup after their rounds.

Stenson, who finished his third round in sixth at five over, two shots behind the leaders, said the course may have been a little too harsh.

"I'd say it's a little bit over the line," Stenson said after his round, which ended with a five-over 40 on the back nine. 

"I don't know what the polls are saying at the moment. I mean, it's a difficult golf course. I expected it to be a difficult week, and I guess it's lived up to those expectations and beyond.

"It's not unusual that we kind of end up in these discussions, where the players and fans think it's either too hard or fair or whatever. But it is what it is, and I'm pretty happy with the way I played today.

"I was really doing well on the front nine and let a couple go on the back nine and got on a small bogey train 13, 14, 15. So that kind of made the day a little bit less good, but all in all, we're still at the races, and we got an outside chance tomorrow."

As the third round came to a close, some of the holes on the back nine were borderline unplayable as the green speeds increased.

"It's small margins to start with. But in the afternoon, when the greens get baked and with some of those pin positions – I mean, the greens aren't running perfectly smooth in the first place. But then in the afternoon, when they get crusty and baked, it's like glass around the hole," Stenson said. 

"You can barely touch some of the putts going downhill, and you could easily three or four-putt from three, four, five feet. So you've got to be extremely careful and hit a lot of good putts out there.

"I felt like I left a few coming home, but everyone else was struggling too, I think."

Stenson is not worried about what the United States Golf Association (USGA) has in store for the players on Sunday.

He is just focused on playing his best golf to give himself a chance to win his second major.

"I think we'll just see what they do tomorrow," Stenson said. "I don't think they're interested in listening to my remarks or anyone else's remarks because then we would have seen maybe slightly different pin positions and setup over the years. So it is what it is, and we'll be back out there fighting it out tomorrow."

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