By Florence Almond |
Brooks Koepka has issued a statement on Twitter to offer “sincere and heartfelt sympathy” after one of his shots at the Ryder Cup struck a fan and caused her to go blind in one eye.
The American hit a drive on the sixth hole which veered into the crowd and ended up making contact with Corine Remande at Le Golf National in Paris.
Forty-nine-year-old Remande had travelled from Egypt to watch the event in the French capital and initially downplayed the incident so Koepka “would stay concentrated”, she told AFP.
“It happened so fast, I didn’t feel any pain when I was hit,” Remande said.
“I didn’t feel like the ball had struck my eye and then I felt the blood start to pour.
“The scan confirmed a fracture of the right eye-socket and an explosion of the eyeball.”
As the ramifications of the incident were made more public, Koepka tweeted to share his thoughts.
“I was deeply hurt and saddened by the tragic accident that occurred when a shot I hit off the sixth tee struck Ms. Remande,” the golfer, a three-time major champion, wrote.
“I spoke to her at the time on the golf course and after now learning her condition is worse than first thought, I have made contact with her/family to offer my sincere and heartfelt sympathy.
“I am heartbroken by the incident.
“My thoughts remain with Ms. Remande and her family, and I have asked to be kept informed on her condition.”
Remande spoke out against the Paris tournament organizers, claiming there was “no warning shout from the course official when the ball was heading towards the crowd.”
However, a Ryder Cup spokesperson spoke to the BBC in response to the criticism.
“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,” they said.
“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.
“We are hugely sympathetic and will do everything we can to support the spectator, insofar as that is possible under very difficult circumstances.”
The 28-year-old golfer was part of the losing American side at the Ryder Cup that concluded on Sunday (September 30).
They lost 17½-10½ to Europe.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.