Rory McIlroy may not be doing so hot in the 2012 Open Championship in Lancashire England, but he has made the headlines in one way. One of his shots connected with a teenaged spectator. On Friday July 20, 2012, it was revealed that McIlroy had not only given the teen an autographed glove but also upgraded his accommodations and added a little cash for the teen to spend. The spectator, who had been staying in a tent, got one night at a nearby hotel. This was not the first time someone got hit with a golf ball. Here is a look at five other incidents involving errant golf balls.
Hit on the Head
History shows that even the best golfers will occasionally hit a golf ball the wrong way. Tiger Woods is just one example of this. In 2007, when Woods was at the top of his game, 63 year old Jennifer Wilson got hit in the head with one of his golf balls. She needed some stitches but was otherwise ok. Woods apologized and gave her a signed glove and golf ball.
Hit on Neck
Charles Barkley was best known for his basketball skills. Though he tried his hand at golf, he never enjoyed the same level of success as he did in basketball. In 2009, though, he did manage to make headlines when a particularly bad shot hit a spectator. The shot hit the spectator in the neck. Though it was scary to watch, the spectator was not seriously injured. Barkley autographed the golf ball for the man.
Golf Ball Lands in Shorts
In February of 2012, at the Northern Trust Open, which is held at Riviera County Club in Los Angeles, California, Phil Mickelson's shot hit a tree. The ball rolled towards one spectator, who was sitting in the grass, and stopped just inside his shorts. The spectator did not move until it was decided that Mickelson could take a drop. He went on to make par on the hole.
Golf Ball Goes Down a Shirt
During the same month that a golf ball stopped in a spectator's shorts, another golf ball found its way to the collar of a woman's shirt. The ball ended up just below the collar on the woman's back during the Accenture Match Play Championship, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona. Lee Westward was able to take a drop.
Golf Ball Fatality
Sadly, golf balls have killed people in the past. Though she was not a professional player, 66 year old Janet Llewellyn had been playing golf with her son-in-law, Ronnie Battersby, at Strathendrick Golf Club in Stirlingshire in late 2009. The two were on the third hole at the Scottish course. When Battersby hit a ball down the course, Llewellyn was hit in the back of the head. Though she was immediately taken to the hospital, she died within one day. She was survived by two children and two grandchildren.
Though Kristin Watt is not a fan of all sports, she does follow the news on most sports religiously. Major news events in sport do tend to ripple out to others and she makes sure that she never misses the big stories.