Brooks Koepka felt ‘terrible’ after drive hit spectator in the face
Woman taken to hospital at Ryder Cup as precaution but injury is not serious
Brooks Koepka next to an injured spectator whom he hit with a drive on the sixth hole during the morning fourballs at the Ryder Cup. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
Brooks Koepka admitted he felt “terrible” after a female spectator was hit by his wayward tee shot during during day one of the Ryder Cup.
The spectator, who has not been named, was pictured on the ground following the accident on the par-four sixth hole at Le Golf National in Paris.
She was attended to by officials before being taken away for further treatment. A Ryder Cup spokesperson said: “She has been taken to the hospital as a precaution but doctors have confirmed the injury is not serious.”
“I haven’t gotten an update,” Koepka, 28, said. “I actually just asked in the lockerroom and nobody knew. 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.
“But it’s not a fun feeling. I probably do it way more than I should. 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. You know exactly how they are feeling, especially when you’ve got to go over there and apologise, because they are in pain, usually bleeding, and then to hit her in the face – you don’t want to hit anybody in the face, especially not a woman, and it’s not a good feeling.
“I just wanted to get out of there, so I’m glad Tony was able to chip-in and leave.”
The tee on the sixth hole had been moved forward to allow players to attempt to drive the green, but Koepka’s shot was pulled left into the crowd.
“I didn’t actually see her at first,” he added. “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 shit, I did it again.
“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.”
A Ryder Cup spokesperson said: “A spectator was hit on the head by a golf ball this morning at the sixth 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.”