Local teen in grandstands catches ball at US Open

Chester County teenager Chris Kienzle in the grandstands at the sixth hole at Merion Golf Club moments after catching a ball hit by pro golfer Lee Westwood on Thursday June 13, 2013.
June 14, 2013 7:57:18 AM PDT
The kid in the stands has some good hands.

Chester County teenager Chris Kienzle was in the grandstands at the sixth hole at Merion Golf Club on Thursday. He was watching pro golfer Lee Westwood's approach shot to the green.

Fan In Grandstand Catches Ball Hit By Lee Westwood At U.S. Open ? VIDEO

And boy, was it a good thing that Chris was watching.

Westwood hit his shot way right, almost like a fly ball into stands at Citizens Bank Park. Chris did what anyone else would have done - at the ball park at least. He raised up his left hand and caught the golf ball in mid-air.

I spoke to Chris via email to find out more about his special moment at Merion:

MO: Nice catch, Chris. Were you tracking the ball all of the way? CK: Yes I was. As soon as the ball was hit my eyes followed it the entire way. On its way down I knew it was coming right to me so I stood up and caught it.

MO: Did it hurt? CK: It didn't hurt because I actually had my rain coat covering my hand to help cushion the ball.

MO: Good thing it had been raining. Explain how you gave the ball back to Westwood, and how he later gave it back to you. CK: After I caught the ball the officials wanted me to hand it to them, but everyone in the stands wanted me to wait and give it to Lee Westwood so I held onto it I threw it to Westwood. Then Westwood chipped and putted the ball into the hole and afterwards he signed it and threw it back to me.

MO: Surely, you play baseball. CK: No, I do not play baseball. I run cross country and track.

MO: You're not skipping school to answer all of these emails, right? CK: Ha ha! No, I'm not skipping school. We finished on Monday. Thank you.

Thankfully enough, the rain coat prevented any throbbing pain in Chris' left palm, and he was able to take a souvenir home.

Chris, who lives in Avondale, will be heading into his senior year at Kennett High School. We think he ought to give baseball a shot.

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