Golf is not a contact sport, and certainly not for spectators, but don't tell that to Corine Remande. This past Friday morning at the Ryder Cup, the 49-year-old from Egypt was struck in the eye by a Brooks Koepka tee shot, and life might not ever be the same for her again.
It happened on the par-4 sixth hole when his tee shot flew into the crowd. "It happened so fast, I didn't feel any pain when I was hit, she told the Agence France-Presse, by way of the BBC.
"I didn't feel like the ball had struck my eye and then I felt the blood start to pour," she continued in ever more gruesome detail. "The scan on Friday confirmed a fracture of the right eye-socket and an explosion of the eyeball." The blood was obvious to everyone involved, but the extent of the damage was initially unknown. However, when you're talking about an exploding eyeball, the prognosis is probably pretty grim.
“She was bleeding pretty good,” Koepka said later that day. “It looked like it hit her right in the eye, so hopefully there’s no, you know, loss of vision or anything like that.” Except, there was.
"Doctors told me I had lost the use of that eye," Mrs. Remande told AFP. She plans to seek damages in an effort help cover medical bills, but she felt like the Paris Organizers were derelict in their duty before and after the accident. She criticized them for failing to make contact after the incident to find out how she was, and she claims there was "no warning shout from the course official when the ball was heading towards the crowd."
A Ryder Cup spokesperson offered the following statement about their efforts on her behalf:
"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.
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 applaud Koepka for coming over to make sure she was OK. Incredibly, she downplayed her injury in the moment, so he "would stay concentrated."