Brooks Koepka

Fan’s lawsuit over Ryder Cup injury to shake up golf events

SOURCE – Irish Independent By Tom Morgan

Woman was hit by the shot struck by US golfer Brooks Koepke. Photo: Reuters

Golf spectators may have to stand further from the action at major competitions after a woman who lost her sight in one eye from a “bullet” ball said she plans to sue the Ryder Cup.

Corine Remande (49) suffered the injury during Europe’s victory at Le Golf National near Paris over the weekend after a stray tee shot hit by American golfer Brooks Koepka (28).

Insurance bosses said the claim piled pressure on organisers to help spectators stay away from “hazardous” holes.

The R&A, which organises The Open, taking place at Royal Portrush in Co Antrim next year, said it was already carefully planning viewing areas at the venue to maximise safety.

Ms Remande, who had travelled from Egypt with her husband Raphael Remande, said the “bullet” shot led to her “right eyeball exploding”.

Her comments come after the Americans repeatedly pointed out that the fairways in Europe were much tighter than they were used to at home, with spectators closer to the action.

“Quite clearly, there is responsibility on the part of the organisers,” said Ms Remande. “Officials did not shout any warning as the ball went into the crowd,” she added, saying she would be consulting lawyers. “More than anything, I want them to take care of all the medical bills to make sure there is no risk of infection.”

Andrew Scott, health and safety manager at Gauntlet, a golf insurance firm, said: “What golf courses should learn from this case is that this sort of incident can occur on any course, at any time and when such a thing takes place, people want answers. Golf clubs need to have risk management measures in place, outlining where particular holes, tees and other course hazards could present dangers to players, staff and the public.

“They also need to ensure that they are adequately covered by insurance and that their playing members themselves take out their own policies, so that any civil liability claim can be settled, should an accident occur, which is their fault.”

Scans on Ms Remande’s eye revealed a “fracture of the right socket and the explosion of the eyeball” which “surgeons managed to sew back together”.

“However, they told me I’d lost the sight in my right eye, and this was what was confirmed to me on Monday,” she said.

A Ryder Cup spokesman said the news of her injury was “distressing”.

A statement added: “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 ‘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.”

Koepka, the current US Open champion, rushed to look after Ms Remande as she lay covered in blood, and she said she “appreciated the gesture”.

A spokesman for the EPGA, the body which governs European golf, said it was “actively investigating the incident”.

Irish Independent

Golf spectators may have to stand further from the action at major competitions after a woman who lost her sight in one eye from a “bullet” ball said she plans to sue the Ryder Cup.

Corine Remande (49) suffered the injury during Europe’s victory at Le Golf National near Paris over the weekend after a stray tee shot hit by American golfer Brooks Koepka (28).

Insurance bosses said the claim piled pressure on organisers to help spectators stay away from “hazardous” holes.

The R&A, which organises The Open, taking place at Royal Portrush in Co Antrim next year, said it was already carefully planning viewing areas at the venue to maximise safety.

Ms Remande, who had travelled from Egypt with her husband Raphael Remande, said the “bullet” shot led to her “right eyeball exploding”.

Her comments come after the Americans repeatedly pointed out that the fairways in Europe were much tighter than they were used to at home, with spectators closer to the action.

“Quite clearly, there is responsibility on the part of the organisers,” said Ms Remande. “Officials did not shout any warning as the ball went into the crowd,” she added, saying she would be consulting lawyers. “More than anything, I want them to take care of all the medical bills to make sure there is no risk of infection.”

Andrew Scott, health and safety manager at Gauntlet, a golf insurance firm, said: “What golf courses should learn from this case is that this sort of incident can occur on any course, at any time and when such a thing takes place, people want answers. Golf clubs need to have risk management measures in place, outlining where particular holes, tees and other course hazards could present dangers to players, staff and the public.

“They also need to ensure that they are adequately covered by insurance and that their playing members themselves take out their own policies, so that any civil liability claim can be settled, should an accident occur, which is their fault.”

Scans on Ms Remande’s eye revealed a “fracture of the right socket and the explosion of the eyeball” which “surgeons managed to sew back together”.

“However, they told me I’d lost the sight in my right eye, and this was what was confirmed to me on Monday,” she said.

A Ryder Cup spokesman said the news of her injury was “distressing”.

A statement added: “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 ‘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.”

Koepka, the current US Open champion, rushed to look after Ms Remande as she lay covered in blood, and she said she “appreciated the gesture”.

A spokesman for the EPGA, the body which governs European golf, said it was “actively investigating the incident”.

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