SPECTATOR LOSES SIGHT IN one EYE AFTER BEING HIT BY golf BALL AT RYDER CUP
2 October 2018
A spectator hit in the face by a golf ball during the Ryder Cup in Paris has lost sight in her right eye and is considering taking legal action.
The incident happened on the opening day of the event, Friday September 28, when American team member Brooks Kopeka’s drive on the par-four sixth hole at Le Golf National struck 49-year-old Corine Remande in the face, knocking her to the ground.
She was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but three days after the injury she still hasn’t regained sight in the injured eye and has been informed by doctors that she is unlikely to do so.
Speaking to AFP, Mrs Remande, who had travelled to the tournament from Egypt, said: “There was no warning shout from any course officials when the ball was heading towards the crowd. It happened so fast, I didn’t feel any pain when I was hit. I didn’t feel like the ball had struck my eye, and then I felt the blood start to pour. The scan on Friday confirmed a fracture of the right eye-socket and an explosion of the eyeball. Doctors told me I had lost the use of that eye.”
Mrs Remande is planning to launch a legal action against the tournament’s organiser to help cover her medical bills.
A Ryder Cup spokesperson said: “It is distressing to hear that someone might suffer long-term consequences from a ball strike. 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.”
The spokesperson added: “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. We are hugely sympathetic and will do everything we can to support the spectator, insofar as that is possible under very difficult circumstances.”
Mrs Remande did praise Koepka, who went over to see how she was and gave her a signed glove. Speaking after the match, the 28-year-old dual US Open champion said: “It looked like it hurt. It’s hard to control a golf ball, especially for 300 yards, and a lot of times the fans are close to the fairway. You can yell ‘fore’, but it doesn’t matter from 300 yards, you can’t hear it.”
There are an average 12,400 golf-related injuries which require hospital treatment each year in the UK alone, according to specialist insurance company Golf Care.
There have been several recent cases of golfers suing golf clubs and other golfers for golf ball injuries in recent years, with Niddry Castle Golf Club in Scotland having to pay out over £300,000 in damages to visiting golfer Anthony Phee after he was hit on the head by a golf ball hit by another player teeing off at a different hole in 2007.
The club was deemed to have failed to put out sufficient signage warning of potential hazards from errant golf balls. The golfer who hit the shot, James Gordon, was also sued, and had to pay out £80,00 in damages to Mr Phee.