American golfer Brooks Koepka said he’s “all messed up inside” since finding out that his errant tee shot at the Ryder Cup last Saturday caused spectator Corine Remande to lose sight in her right eye.
The 49-year-old woman from Egypt was watching the action at Le Golf National near Paris when Koepka’s wayward drive at the par-4 sixth hole struck her in the face. Koepka rushed over to Remande’s side at the time of the incident as first responders rushed to the scene.
Remande said that the force of the impact caused a fracture of her right eye socket and “explosion of the eyeball,” prompting doctors to tell her she likely wouldn’t see again.
“It’s a tragic accident, I’m heartbroken,” Koepka told reporters on Tuesday at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews Scotland. “It will definitely be the one shot I regret in my career. (The day he found out) was one of the worst days of my life.
“I’m torn up about it. She’s not going to be able to see out of her eye again and I hit the golf ball. It’s upsetting.”
The 28-year-old Koepka said he is trying to reach out to the woman’s family and wants to speak to Remande directly. He had previously expressed feeling “hurt and saddened” on Twitter.
According to Golfweek, Remande is considering legal action against tournament organizers to pay for medical expenses. The European Tour, which manages the Ryder Cup, issued a statement Tuesday that noted the warning sign ‘fore’ was shouted several times. It plans to assist in Remande’s recovery, which included the transportation from Paris to Lyon, France — where her family resides.
The Tour’s statement read, in part: “It is distressing to hear that someone might suffer long-term consequences from a ball strike. … We have been in communication with the family involved, starting with the immediate on-course treatment and thereafter to provide support, helping with the logistics of repatriation. We will continue to offer support for as long as necessary.”
- Wire services