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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Ryder Cup spectator loses sight in one eye after being hit by Brooks Koepka drive

Woman struck when American's drive veered wide of fairway on sixth hole on opening day of event which Europe went on to win

United States golfer Brooks Koepka reacts next to an injured spectator who fell during the fourball match on Day 1 of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course. AFP
United States golfer Brooks Koepka reacts next to an injured spectator who fell during the fourball match on Day 1 of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course. AFP

A spectator struck by a golf ball at last weekend's Ryder Cup said she has lost the sight in her right eye and is planning to sue organisers.

Corine Remande, 49, had travelled to France from Egypt with her husband Raphael to watch the biennial showdown between Europe and the United States, held at Le Golf National club in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines just outside Paris.

But the avid golf fan's holiday ended abruptly when a tee shot from American Brooks Koepka veered left, landed among a crowd of spectators on the sixth hole and hit her in the right eye.

US Open champion Koepka swiftly apologised to Remande following the incident.

However, Remande told AFP on Monday she planned to seek legal action, claiming there was no warning from officials before the ball hurtled into the gallery.

"Quite clearly, there is responsibility on the part of the organisers," Remande said as she left the Croix-Rousse hospital in Lyon. "Officials did not shout any warning as the player's ball went into the crowd."

Remande conceded she "appreciated the gesture from the golfer".

"I tried to stay positive with him so that he didn't lose his concentration," she said. "But once I was taken away, I didn't hear anything from the organisers."

Remande is set to consult a lawyer on Tuesday with a view to seeking damages.

"More than anything I want them to take care of all the medical bills to make sure there is no risk of infection," she said.

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Remande received first aid on the spot before being transferred to a specialist eye hospital in Paris.

She was then driven to her parents' home in Lyon after doctors advised her not to fly immediately back to Egypt.

Scans on her eye revealed a "fracture of the right socket and the explosion of the eyeball", which, she said, surgeons managed to sew back together.

"However they told me I'd lost the sight in my right eye," she explained, "and this was what was confirmed to me today [on Monday]."

Her husband said: "In the best-case scenario, she may be able to see shapes after the bruising eases in a month or so."

Contacted by AFP via email, the EPGA - the body which governs European golf - said it will "investigate" the incident, which could "take some time".