Irish student hit by lightning at US golf club says he suffered no serious injuries

Co Tyrone student was among six injured as he watched progress of Rory McIlroy

Fans are assisted by medical personnel after a lightning strike during the third round of the Tour Championship.

Fans are assisted by medical personnel after a lightning strike during the third round of the Tour Championship.

 

A 19-year-old Co Tyrone student who was injured in lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Club in the US on Saturday has said he is suffering no major ill effects from the ordeal.

Ryan Murphy, from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was one of six golf fans struck by the lightning while following the progress of golfer Rory McIlroy during the third round of the Tour Championship.

“I was walking across to a fan shop,” he said on Drivetime on RTÉ Radio 1 on Tuesday. “The next thing I knew I had fallen to the ground and my ears were ringing. I was surrounded by people and there were ambulances. It was very chaotic.

“When I woke up, I felt like I could just stand up and walk away, and then they told me I had been struck by lightning. When they put me on the backboard I realised how serious it was and let them do their jobs.

“They put me in a neck brace and then put me in the ambulance and took me straight to the hospital. I was there for about six or seven hours in the neck brace. They were monitoring everything. It wasn’t until I got a CT scan that I was free to go.”

Mr Murphy said weather conditions before the lightning strike were generally positive. “There was a tiny bit or rain that stopped before I decided to walk across to the shop,” he said. “That’s when the lightning struck.”

He had been due to go to San Francisco and then New York before coming home to start his course at Queen’s. He said he had suffered no serious injuries. “I haven’t really slept and have a sore head, but apart from that,” he said.

Five other people were injured after the lightning strikes which hit a tree close to the 15th green at East Lake.

The PGA Tour said the injuries suffered by the fans “do not appear to be life-threatening”.

“At 4.45pm there were two lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Club; a tree near the range/15 green/16 tee was hit and debris from that strike injured four people,” the tour said in a statement.

“[Emergency medical technicians] tended to those fans and two others immediately and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention.”