- American golfer Brooks Koepka hit a spectator in the forehead while teeing off at the Ryder Cup on Friday.
- The unidentified female spectator was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but doctors said she wasn’t seriously injured.
- After wrapping up for the day, 28-year-old Koepka said he felt “terrible” for hitting the woman.
Brooks Koepka, the world’s No. 2-ranked golfer, hit a female spectator in the head after teeing off at the Ryder Cup on Friday.
The 28-year-old American was teeing off on the sixth hole with partner Tony Finau when his first shot veered left into the crowd gathered on the side of the fairway.
An unidentified woman was hit just above the eye and fell to the ground, where she was photographed bleeding heavily from the head.
“I didn’t actually see her at first,” Koepka recalled later, according to The Guardian. “I didn’t know I hit anybody and then someone from the crowd yelled, ‘You hit someone.'”
“And I turned around and then obviously you see someone’s lying on the ground, and you’re thinking, ‘Oh s— I did it again,'” Koepka added.
The reigning US Open and PGA champion said he knew the hit was bad and yelled “fore.” But spectators near the woman told ESPN they didn’t hear his warning.
“You can yell fore, but it doesn’t matter. If you’re 150 yards, you’re shouting ‘fore,’ you can hear it. But from 300 yards, even if none of us said ‘fore,’ she’s going to get hit, and that’s the unfortunate thing,” Koeopka said.
After the accident, Koepka rushed to the woman’s side to give her a signed glove before continuing play.
He was noticeably troubled by the incident in the pictures of him responding to the woman, and his play was impacted as well – he went on to make bogey at the next hole.
“I obviously saw her. It looked like it hurt. She was bleeding pretty good. It looked like it hit her right in the eye, so hopefully there’s no, you know, loss of vision or anything like that,” Koepka later said, according to The Independent.
“But it’s not a fun feeling. I probably do it way more than I should,” he said. “It seems just about every week we’re hitting somebody, and you know, it’s unfortunate. You’re never trying to.”
“It doesn’t feel good, it really doesn’t. You feel terrible for them,” he said.
A Ryder Cup spokesperson later issued a statement saying the woman had been treated on-site at Le Golf National by a medical team. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but doctors didn’t believe her injuries were serious.
“A spectator was hit on the head by a golf ball this morning at the 6th hole. She was immediately supported by marshals and assessed by the medical team on site. She has been taken to the hospital as a precaution but doctors have confirmed the injury is not serious. The spectator does not have a broken nose, contrary to what some media announced,” the statement read.
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