‘I saw blood … after that I wasn’t right:’ How beaning a spectator led to this PGA Tour rookie losing his concentration

Chandler Phillips shot a final-round 2-under 69 on Sunday to tie for third with Mackenzie Hughes, the best finish of the rookie’s season. But afterward, Phillips expressed concern for the members of the gallery he hit with his tee shot at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort.

“Tell you the truth, after 8, I was kind of, I don’t know, man, I hit somebody, or, I hit actually two people, and the lady that I hit didn’t look too good. So, after that, I wasn’t right,” he said.

Phillips started with an eagle at the first hole to grab a share of the lead and he hung around all day, making birdie at No. 14 to improve to 10 under and trailed by one. A bogey at No. 16, the hardest hole on the course, sealed his fate.

NBC’s Curt Byrum noted that Phillips “didn’t play like a rookie,” referring to his calm demeanor most of the day, but Phillips said that hitting two spectators – he said the ball ricocheted off of a woman and then struck a man – threw him for a loop.

“I walked up and I saw a guy, he was holding an ice pack on the back of his head,” Phillips said. “Then I see four or five people crowded around the lady, and I saw blood. I don’t know where it hit her, but they, I just wanted to make sure that they had called, like, EMS or something out here, trainers, do whatever they can to help her out. But I didn’t even get to talk to her or anything like that. I really hope that she’s doing OK. If she’s seeing this, I’m truly sorry. Obviously I’m not meaning to do that.”

He added: “I tried to keep my concentration, but kind of lost it for a handful of holes. Just hoping that she’s OK.”

Ready for Houston

Phillips, who played his college golf at Texas A&M, is looking forward to this week’s PGA Tour stop in Houston, where he expects to have a big following of friends and family.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my friends get kicked out,” he said. “They’re pretty rowdy.”

And he said the loudest of them all will be his mother.

“You damn sure will be able to hear my mom, because she don’t even call me by my name, she calls me by my nickname,” Phillips said.

The nickname? Goose.

“I don’t know where she got it,” he said. “So it will be cool to hopefully hear that next week and have them all there.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek