Sunday 18 August 2019

Ryder Cup fan who was blinded in one eye by wayward tee shot says she could have died

Corine Remande has been blinded in her right eye after incident at Ryder Cup CREDIT: UNIVERSAL NEWS
Corine Remande has been blinded in her right eye after incident at Ryder Cup CREDIT: UNIVERSAL NEWS
A man tends an unidentified injured woman after she was hit by US player Brooks Koepka's ball on the 6th hole during a fourball match on the opening day of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, outside Paris, France, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) 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."

The BBC reported that Mrs Remande is planning legal action against Ryder Cup organisers, saying course officials did not give adequate warnings.

Koepka said in a statement on Twitter on Tuesday that he was "deeply hurt and saddened" by the incident and also addressed what happened in a press conference on Wednesday 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".

A Ryder Cup spokesperson added: "Ball strikes are an occasional hazard for spectators, but this kind of incident is extremely rare. We can confirm that 'fore' was shouted several times, but also appreciate how hard it can be to know when and where every ball is struck if you are in the crowd.

"We are hugely sympathetic and will do everything we can to support the spectator, insofar as that is possible under very difficult circumstances."

Europe captain Thomas Bjorn said: "It's terrible, it's a freak accident that's happened, and all our thoughts are with her."

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