TULSA, Okla. –Ice pack on the head, Aaron Wise said he felt “good” but “a little sore” after being hit in the head with an errant tee shot Friday at the PGA Championship.
Wise was standing on the right edge of the seventh hole at Southern Hills when he bent down to identify his rough ball. That’s when Cam Smith, playing the adjacent second hole, sent his tee shot wide to the right (graphic below) in a strong left-to-right wind. Although Smith shouts “fore!” from the tee, 300 yards out, none of the players in front heard the warning.
Smith’s tee shot hit Wise on the right side of his head.
“I was surprised my ball wasn’t in the fairway, and the next thing you know, I got a little buzz in my head and I was on the fairway,” Wise said as he walked towards the parking.
Joel Dahmen, who played with Wise, said Smith’s tee shot carried a “look” and propelled about 40 to 50 yards down the fairway. ShotLink data showed Smith’s tee shot eventually traveled 316 yards, giving him 190 yards to the hole and a direct line to the flag through the trees. He ended up doing normal.
“All the spectators heard it,” Dahmen said of the contact. “It was loud.”
Wise, meanwhile, had to pull himself together. A rules officer was in the area and Wise asked for a bottle of cold water to place on his head for some relief.
“He was definitely shaken going into this. [next] shot, of course,” Dahmen said.
“Obviously there’s a lot of adrenaline in the body after something like this has happened,” Wise said, “so it’s really just trying to calm me down and get back to feeling a bit normal for the last holes.”
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With 180 yards to play, Wise missed the right of the seventh green but was driven up and down for a remarkable par, under the circumstances. He also made par on the next hole, before a bogey on the last sent him to a 2 of 72. In two rounds he was 1 of 141, nine over the 36-hole lead.
Smith, who hit an even par 70 to sit at 2 under, was unaware he had hit Wise until Golf Channel reporter Todd Lewis informed him after he finished the game .
“Oh, I didn’t know that. No one told me. Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s the first time I’ve heard it,” Smith replied when Lewis asked him about the incident.
“I hope he is well.”
After his turn, Wise signed his scorecard and grabbed another ice pack. He was taken to the player services area, where he rested for around 20 minutes and saw the medical team there.
When later asked about the location of the strike, Wise took off his hat and showed a faint red line, just to the right of the Adidas logo.
“That’s the line of his ball!” he’s laughing.
“But I feel good,” he said. “A little sore, but I feel fine.”
This is the second reported incident this week of a ball foul causing injury. In the first round, according to the New York Post, Jon Rahm’s tee shot on the third hole snagged left and hit “SportsCenter” Sage Steele’s anchor in the mouth. The Post reported that she was hospitalized.
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