Fans often have to be watchful after a bad golf shot. They just don’t usually have to watch out for a flying club.
After hitting an errant tee shot on the 15th hole Friday at a Web.com Tour event, Kevin Stadler slammed his 7-iron on the ground in anger. The club head hit his foot, broke and flew into the crowd, striking a spectator in the head.
The injury required stitches, and the fan was taken to the hospital, according to an ESPN report on the incident.
“It was a very freakish accident,” Web.com Tour rules official Orlando Pope told ESPN. “Kevin is devastated. He had trouble trying to finish the round. He was quite worried and felt so bad.”
Stadler, who is the son of one-time Masters champion Craig Stadler, got some emotional support from his playing partners, Jonathan Hodge and Shaun Micheel.
Micheel, the 2003 PGA Championship winner, put up a lengthy Facebook postdescribing what went on during the round.
“In a fit of anger [Kevin Stadler] slammed his club against the ground and the side of his foot which caused the club to break about 6 [inches] from the bottom,” Micheel wrote. “I had my head down but the clubhead flew behind me and hit a spectator to my right. It’s been a while since I’ve seen so much blood.”
Micheel said the group stayed with the fan for about 15 minutes until medical help arrived, then he and Hodge tried to help the “absolutely shattered” Stadler focus on the round.
“We did our best to keep his spirits up,” Micheel wrote. “This was not done on purpose and we were astounded at the way the club was directed but it shows you just how dangerous it is to throw or break clubs. Each of us in the group learned something today!”
And so did the fans: Look out.