European Tour offers support to spectator hit by wayward Brooks Koepka tee shot
THE European Tour last night pledged "support for as long as necessary" to a spectator who has lost the sight in one eye after being hit by a golf ball during last week's Ryder Cup.
Corine Remande was hit by a wayward tee shot by three-time major winner Brooks Koepka at Le Golf National in Paris and has been told by medics she has "lost the sight in my right eye".
The 49-year-old Frenchwoman had travelled from Egypt with her husband Raphael to watch the showdown between Europe and the United States, but was struck when Koepka's shot veered left and landed among a crowd of spectators on the sixth hole.
She was treated on the course and in a nearby hospital before being transferred to Lyon. But she has revealed she suffered a "fracture of the right socket and the explosion of the eyeball" resulting in the loss of sight.
She said she plans to take legal action, claiming there was no warning from officials before the ball hurtled into the gallery.
"Quite clearly, there is responsibility on the part of the organisers," she told the AFP news agency.
"Officials did not shout any warning as the player's ball went into the crowd."
The golf fan said Koepka had swiftly apologised to her following the incident and she "appreciated the gesture".
However, she added: "I tried to stay positive with him so that he didn't lose his concentration. But once I was taken away, I didn't hear anything from the organisers".
"More than anything I want them to take care of all the medical bills to make sure there is no risk of infection," she added.
A Ryder Cup spokesperson said: "It is distressing to hear that someone might suffer long-term consequences from a ball strike.
"The spectator hit by a ball at the sixth hole during Friday's play was treated by first responders immediately and taken to hospital.
"We have been in communication with the family involved, starting with the immediate on-course treatment and thereafter to provide support, helping with the logistics of repatriation, including providing a transfer for the family from Paris to Lyon.
"We will continue to offer support for as long as necessary.
"Ball strikes are an occasional hazard for spectators but this kind of incident is extremely rare. We can confirm that 'fore' was shouted several times but also appreciate how hard it can be to know when and where every ball is struck if you are in the crowd."
While television footage showed Koepka and other players shouting 'fore', some professional golfers are known to allow their ball to travel at pace into the crowd and remain silent.
Golf etiquette dictates golfers should always yell 'fore' when hitting a shot that carries the risk of hitting someone. But it is believed players know there is a benefit of having big crowds as a 'backstop' to prevent mis-hit shots going even further away from their target.
Speaking after the incident, Koepka said: "It doesn't feel good, it really doesn't. You feel terrible for them".