Dustin Johnson accidentally struck a member of the crowd with an approach shot at The Open Championship.
The world No.1 has struggled so far at Royal Birkendale, despite going in as favourite, finding the unfortunate weather difficult to contend with and hitting bogeys at the 5th and the 9th.
The bogey he scored at the ninth, however, was noticeable for another reason – the ball hit someone in the crowd.
As the American hit his approach shot, the ball sailed – with a wind assist – far into the crowd and a watching journalist couldn’t get out of the way.
Philip Reid, golf reporter for the Irish Times, was the unfortunate victim, the ball cracking off his cheekbone.
Sky Sports’ Wayne Riley confirmed the accident on air, reassuring his family by saying: “Family, he’s fine, but tomorrow he’s going to look like he’s gone 12 rounds with Frank Bruno.”
Reid took to Twitter to show off his new wound, and showed that Riley’s initial assessment of his injuries was spot on.
To his credit, Johnson responded to the tweet: “😳Sorry about that! Glad you’re okay.”
Johnson will be hoping to finish more respectably than his current position with a better performance in the third round, while his playing partner, Rory McIlroy, sets his sights on leapfrogging Jordan Speith at the top.
The Northern Irishman shot two under par in his second round to keep within touching distance of the top of the scorecard, with the world No.4 hoping to add to his 2014 Open Championship success.
Johnson, on the other hand, will be forced to write-off the event that he walked into as one of the favourites.
After hitting Reid in the face, Johnson chipped onto the green, but proceeded to miss a fairly simple putt. Sky Sports commentator believed it was likely related to the incident.
“It can be so off-putting when you hit someone – I’ve done it at an Open actually,” he said.