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RussUK

Spectator loses eyesight at Ryder Cup

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This came up on my news feed:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/oct/01/brooks-koepka-ryder-cup-spectato

 

The lady that was hit by Brooks Koepka's errant drive has permenantly lost the sight in one eye. She apparantly suffered an broken eye socket and and an "exploded eyeball". She is holding the organisers responsible for not shouting, however this is another case of the players possibly not doing enough to warn specators of a incomming ball.

I find that often players just hold their arm out in the direction the ball is traveling and if they do shout it's likely it cannot be heard 280+ yards down the hole. I know Koepka had no intent of harming the lady but his offer of a signed glove just wont cut it this time.

More needs to be done to aid the safety of spectators. Whether its a fine for any player that doesn't shout "fore" or a more audiable way of notifying the crowds (or both). Freak accident im sure but one that should'nt be happening these days. It just concerns me that some players appear to be more worried at where their shots end up than if it hits a spectator. 

The lady has a long road to recovery and i wish her well.

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I saw that this morning.  Hope she regains sight but not looking good . . . an exploding eyeball!  (pun not intended)

I've never attended a pro event so I wonder if there are warnings that suggest getting hit with a ball is a potential outcome and that they (the organisers) have no liability should it happen?  Don't they have those officials as well who hold up the signs showing where the ball is going?

That might sound a bit harsh on the woman and even if the above was in place you'd still think they (organisers/player) would look to compensate with more than a glove . . . ?!

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It's a terrible outcome and I sympathise with the lady, but I don't think anybody is responsible here - Nobody will hear Koepka's shouts from that range, and it is indeed expected on a golf course that there will be the potential of being hit by a ball. 

One wonders why this sort of thing cannot be covered by Insurance - it's so rare that a serious injury like this occurs that the cost per spectator would be very small. 

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It’s not logical to blame the player or the officials. It’s not anyone’s fault, just an unfortunate result.

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34 minutes ago, Moxley said:

It's a terrible outcome and I sympathise with the lady, but I don't think anybody is responsible here - Nobody will hear Koepka's shouts from that range, and it is indeed expected on a golf course that there will be the potential of being hit by a ball. 

One wonders why this sort of thing cannot be covered by Insurance - it's so rare that a serious injury like this occurs that the cost per spectator would be very small. 

Koepka wasn't at fault as such, and like i said he in no way intended to cause harm as it was just a very unlucky incident. I just hate seeing some golfers sticking an arm out but staying quiet, seems to happen far to often.

Re insurance i'm sure the tournament organisers will have some form of public liability insurance, I know most (if not all) golf courses the likes of us everyday golfers play at dont cover injuries (as far as i am aware), hence those ads for insurance in the golf mags with Tony Jacklin.

I suppose, because of the nature of the sport in regards to spectating, there will always be the chance of this thing happening no matter how remote that chance may be.

I do think Koepka made the wrong decision to offer (picture in the news looked like he just tossed) a glove to the injured party. If you get hit by a bouncing ball and not hurt too much then fine it's a nice gesture but if the person you hit is laid out with blood pouring down their face then maybe just stay back till they are treated.

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1 hour ago, RussUK said:

More needs to be done to aid the safety of spectators. Whether its a fine for any player that doesn't shout "fore" or a more audiable way of notifying the crowds (or both). Freak accident im sure but one that should'nt be happening these days. It just concerns me that some players appear to be more worried at where their shots end up than if it hits a spectator. 

Like what? 

What if the woman wasn't paying attention? Just because someone yells fore, doesn't mean they will hear it. 

Just because they yell fore, doesn't mean you know where the tee shot is. What if she thought she was moving towards cover and ran right into the ball because she heard fore? 

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3 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Like what? 

What if the woman wasn't paying attention? Just because someone yells fore, doesn't mean they will hear it. 

Just because they yell fore, doesn't mean you know where the tee shot is. What if she thought she was moving towards cover and ran right into the ball because she heard fore? 

You're not supposed run when you hear fore, you are supposed to crouch and cover your head. Thats what i've always been told anyway.

If there was more info about what to do at a shout of fore, for example on the event pass, ticket or around the venue that would go some way to help at least.

I cringe when i see someone look towards the shout instead of doing duck and cover.

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48 minutes ago, RussUK said:

You're not supposed run when you hear fore, you are supposed to crouch and cover your head. Thats what i've always been told anyway.

You may know that, but does everyone? I've seen a few golfers, not just people who go to golf tournaments, run away from the spot they were standing on. This could be that they might run towards where the ball will be landing.

50 minutes ago, RussUK said:

I cringe when i see someone look towards the shout instead of doing duck and cover.

I think more could be done to educate the spectators.

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@RussUK Agree on the glove thing, the signed equipment should be part of a friendly exchange , giving the fan something to remember the encounter by - it's a shame if players think all they need to do is toss a glove in the direction of any spectator they hit. Again, I don't see him being at fault, but hopefully he'll make an effort to get in touch with the lady.  

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10 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I think more could be done to educate the spectators.

It always amazes me when spectators act surprised when a tee shot comes their way. You are on a golf course, in range of the tee. Pay attention.

I feel bad for the woman, but it is not an unexpected occurrence.

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Sad situation. Not surprised she is suing, but organizers are typically pretty well protected in these situations. 

Im sure Koepka feels pretty sick about it once he heard about the eyesight, but wayward tee shots happen. It’s golf. Maybe he reaches out to her again...if she wants to hear from him. IIRC Tony Finau had a pretty nice gesture for a lady he hit a year or so ago. 

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I am pretty sure they have a "Not Liable for Blah Blah" clause on the ticket when purchased.  Not sure about Europe.

Here is a USGA doc covering what we are talking about:

Ticket Holder expressly assumes all risks incidental to and associated with attendance at the
Championship. By virtue of the Ticket Holder’s attendance at the Championship, the Ticket Holder
acknowledges that s/he/ understands all risks incidental to and associated with his/her attendance,
including but not limited to being struck by a golf ball or golf club, and hereby waives, releases and
discharges the USGA,
Chambers Bay
, any and all of their respective affiliated companies and vendors,
participating
players, and all employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives, and/or volunteers
associated with the Championship, and agrees to hold harmless all of the persons and entities listed above,
from any and all claims for damages for death, personal
injury or property loss or damage including all
costs and expenses, which result from the Ticket Holder’s attendance at the Championship. This waiver,
release and assumption of risk is binding on the Ticket Holder’s heirs and assigns

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At the BMW I knew when a golfball landed was when it landed. Just could not hear out there. 

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1 - it's a consequence of being a spectator - no blame, accidents happens, spectators knowingly sign a release. 

2 - The comment about educating the spectators is a good one though

3 - I have no doubt most of the pros, including Brooks, when they find out something like this will followup and do something regardless, these are typically decent types.  Regardless, it's also appropriate PR.  We don't necessarily hear about it when they reach out often, but I recall more than a couple in the last year or two anyway.

4 - the glove souvenir was a nice gesture - he didn't know there was more damage......contacting her later and maybe making another gesture (that doesn't imply culpability) is also decent and I suspect imminent.

Edited by rehmwa

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3 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

It’s not logical to blame the player or the officials. It’s not anyone’s fault, just an unfortunate result.

I suppose you could say it is the player's fault for missing the fairway, but not in the legal sense (although I can't speak for French law). Accidents happen. Volente non fit injuria as they say.

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I have been reading a few more reports from various news outlets and info seems to be conflicting. Officials stood on the tee stated that they shouted fore a number of times yet people stood near the injured party have said otherwise.

Could be a case, as has been sugested, that the shout was not heard. In hindsight when we play courses we can hear shouts from a couple of holes away but we dont have cheering and what not going on to mask the yells of fore.

Its sad but accidents can and do happen.

5 minutes ago, weekend hacker1 said:

I suppose you could say it is the player's fault for missing the fairway,

in that case i'm at fault quite a lot when i play ;-)

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While I certainly feel bad for this lady, I think you are way off base @RussUK. You assume all liability when you buy a ticket to a professional golf event. People get hit, that is the sad truth. If you stand 300 yards from the tee on the right or left side of the fairway you are in the line of fire. 

What exactly do you want Brooks Koepka to do? What do you want the marshals or even the event organizers to do? There is nothing they can do. I am sure someone called "fore" but even then this lady is probably 325 yards away and might not have even been paying attention. She should have known the risks when she stepped on the course. It's unfortunate that she was injured as badly as she was, but she has to take the responsibility. I guarantee the powers behind the Ryder Cup have an iron clad release of liability clause somewhere.

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5 hours ago, RussUK said:

This came up on my news feed:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/oct/01/brooks-koepka-ryder-cup-spectato

 

The lady that was hit by Brooks Koepka's errant drive has permenantly lost the sight in one eye. She apparantly suffered an broken eye socket and and an "exploded eyeball". She is holding the organisers responsible for not shouting, however this is another case of the players possibly not doing enough to warn specators of a incomming ball.

I find that often players just hold their arm out in the direction the ball is traveling and if they do shout it's likely it cannot be heard 280+ yards down the hole. I know Koepka had no intent of harming the lady but his offer of a signed glove just wont cut it this time.

More needs to be done to aid the safety of spectators. Whether its a fine for any player that doesn't shout "fore" or a more audiable way of notifying the crowds (or both). Freak accident im sure but one that should'nt be happening these days. It just concerns me that some players appear to be more worried at where their shots end up than if it hits a spectator. 

The lady has a long road to recovery and i wish her well.

Usually, the event holders have insurance for just such an occurrence.

Hope she recovers from this, and I hope the event makes good.

Keeping sports line this more tenable for the general public is really important. Many of the new spectators to this sport don’t expect this sort of thing to happen. 

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