Wednesday 25 April 2018

'Ballistic missile threat inbound' - Ireland's Seamus Power caught up in panic at Sony Open as warning sent by mistake

Seamus Power of Ireland in action at Sony Open In Hawaii
Seamus Power of Ireland in action at Sony Open In Hawaii
The Sony Open golf tournament at Waialae Country Club

A ballistic missile alarm warning which was sent by mistake caused a brief panic for players, officials and fans alike at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

The message "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL." was flashed to phones across the US state.

Local television screens displayed alerts of how the detected threat, in place because of the potential range of missiles from North Korea, "may impact on land or sea within minutes."

A second text message from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency confirmed it was a false alarm - although it did not arrive for some 38 minutes.

PGA golfer John Peterson - who sits in a tie for second after two rounds at the Waialae Country Club, three shots behind leader Brian Harman - is in Honolulu with his three-month old baby and was clearly shaken by the experience.

Peterson wrote on Twitter: "Under mattresses in the bathtub with my wife, baby and in laws. Please lord let this bomb threat not be real."

After receiving confirmation of the false alarm, Peterson added: "Man. How do you press the wrong button like that. COME ON MAN"

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Native Hawaiian Michelle Wie, winner of the 2014 US Women's Open, was glad to hear everyone was fine.

She wrote on Twitter: "Omg!!! My heart dropped!! ðð¼ð¤ð¼"

Taylor Ford, who is caddy for Stewart Cink, was walking on the Diamond Head crater during the alert.

He posted on Instagram: "Hiked a mountain and had a ballistic missile threat launch alert all before 8:30am. Indescribable feeling. The 3rd round this afternoon should be a cake walk."

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