With the rain falling and the cut looming, Tiger Woods needed all the help he could get at the U.S. Open. And on the 18th hole, Woods’ ninth of the day, he got a bit of it, in unexpected fashion:
Yes, that’s a spotter, tasked with watching the ball … who apparently lost track of the ball until it hit him in the ankle. (In all fairness, tracking a ball against the gray skies that covered Shinnecock is just about impossible.) Woods owes the guy a thank-you; without that smack, the ball would have plunged into the thick fescue. Of course, Woods ended up bogeying the hole, so he’s likely not in much of a thankful mood.
Spectators and golf: not a great mix
As you’d expect when you’ve got players hitting balls nearly a quarter of a mile and fans trying to track said tiny white balls, collisions are frequent, and often painful. Phil Mickelson gives a signed golf glove (with, rumor has it, a $100 bill tucked inside) to every fan he hits with a ball. Fred Couples clocked a patron at the Masters earlier this year. And at 2016’s Olympics, a fan actually grabbed Justin Rose’s ball while it was still rolling. (He went on to win gold anyway.)
So, as always, the rule remains: if you’re watching golf, keep your head on a swivel. Particularly if that’s supposed to be your job.
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