Sport Golf

Monday 18 November 2019

Koepka 'heartbroken' as spectator says she could have died

Corine Remande pictured in Lyon. Photo: AFP
Corine Remande pictured in Lyon. Photo: AFP Newsdesk Newsdesk

A female spectator struck in the eye by a tee shot from Brooks Koepka during the Ryder Cup says she could have died as a result of the incident.

Corine Remande was hit by a wayward shot on the par-four sixth hole at Le Golf National in Paris and there have been reports she could lose the sight in her right eye.

Mrs Remande, who had travelled to the event with her husband from their home in Egypt, told BBC Sport she could have been more seriously injured if the ball had missed her right eye and hit the side of her head.

"For me, it's finished. I could not speak with you," she said. "It's so nice to be on the golf course, to see the players. I hope that with this terrible accident to improve this kind of safety for the public.

"The doctor said immediately to my husband that it was a very big explosion in my eye and it was impossible for me now to see again with this eye. I don't know how to live with only one eye. I like walking, sport, going to the gym and playing golf."

Remande spared Koepka of blame but is planning legal action against Ryder Cup organisers, saying course officials did not give adequate warnings. The European Tour said "fore" was shouted several times, and that marshals are not aware of a player's strategy in advance of any shot.

Koepka addressed what happened in a press conference yesterday ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

"Yesterday was probably one of the worst days of my life," Koepka said. "I haven't had too many tragedies in my personal family where there's been a loss or any kind of tragic accident so I've been lucky in that sense.

"I wasn't told until I got to the course - I'm not the biggest person on social media - so when I got here and had about seven missed calls and 25 text messages I was like, 'What's going on?'. Then I was told the news and obviously I am really heartbroken. My stomach sank."

He added: "It's sad and I really am torn up about it."

In Koepka's statement on Twitter, the reigning US Open and US PGA champion said he was "heartbroken" and had been in contact with Remande's family to offer his "heartfelt sympathy". The European Tour has said it will offer her "support for as long as necessary".

Koepka is joined by Paul McGinley, Pádraig Harrington, Shane Lowry, Paul Dunne, Robin Dawson, Michael Hoey and Graeme McDowell in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship today.

Dunhill Links Championship

Live, Sky Sports, 1.0pm

Safeway Open

Live, Sky Sports, 10.30pm

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