One fan, identified as “Jason” by TJ Eckert of KTUL News, was one of many spectators at Southern Hills following the featured group of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Unfortunately for Jason, Tiger’s opening tee shot went astray and beaned Jason on the elbow. He came away with one of Tiger’s gloves—and a big welt on the elbow.
This is Jason. Jason took a Tiger Woods driver right off the elbow on the 1st hole.
Jason now has a giant bruise and a Tiger glove. Asked how he felt?
— TJ Eckert (@TJEckertKTUL) May 20, 2022
And the errant shots were not only hazardous to the broadcasters and fans. The competing golfers themselves were not immune.
Aaron Wise was nearing the end of his round when a tee shot from Cameron Smith went off-target and nailed Wise in the head.
Aaron Wise was hit in the head by an errant tee shot from Cameron Smith on the par-4 7th hole.
Wise was able to finish out his final three holes and complete his round. pic.twitter.com/9guegRQVxR
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 20, 2022
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) May 20, 2022
Checked in w/Aaron Wise's camp, he's at home and resting. Was checked out by meds after the round and they gave him the all-OK. Cam Smith's tee shot hit him on the fly and the sharpie line on the ball actually left a mark on Wise's hat.
Super, super fortunate it wasn't worse.
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) May 20, 2022
Spectators getting hit by balls isn’t that rare. They are often standing close to the fairways and, particularly when they’re following the more popular groups, don’t have a lot of room to get out of the way of an errant shot.
Golfers and broadcasters getting beaned, though, is different.
Even before these incidents happened, the compacted layout of Southern Hills was a talking point.
Gonna be a lot of chatter about this logjam this week.
What should get highlighted is, if the ball didn't go as far it does, you wouldn't need to stretch the 3rd and 7th tees back this far.
It's why courses like Southern Hills get passed over for events, though they shouldn't. pic.twitter.com/3ugbmQ9iGK
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) May 19, 2022
Now, fans are wondering if the tight course might have something to do with these incidents.
This course layout is insane. Been so many near misses already. They’ve tried to pack in a lot of holes in not a lot of real estate. https://t.co/stKOIhFa2z
— Darren Murphy 🏏 (@MrDMurphy) May 20, 2022
Wow, goofy design is going to get someone killed
— Paul Phillips (@pphilly49) May 20, 2022
Given the tight layout, combined with strong winds blowing errant shots even further away from their targets, people getting hit by golf balls is not surprising.
We can only hope that whatever injuries are sustained are only superficial.
[Photo from the PGA Tour on Twitter]