(Reuters) – Six spectators have been injured when lightning struck a tree in the course of the third spherical on the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Saturday, the PGA Tour stated in a press release.
“At four.45 p.m., there have been two lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Membership; a tree close to the vary/15 inexperienced/16 tee was hit, and particles from that strike injured 4 individuals,” the Tour stated.
“(Emergency personnel) tended to these followers and two others instantly and transported them from the property by way of ambulance for additional medical consideration.
“Our newest report is that their accidents don’t seem like life-threatening.”
The strike occurred 28 minutes after the third spherical had been halted when thunderstorms popped up over the course, stated Tour guidelines official Mark Russell on the NBC broadcast.
“We knew we have been going to have presumably some pop-up thunderstorms right now,” Russell stated.
“When one did kind proper excessive of us we suspended play instantly.”
Play was suspended for the day, and can resume at eight a.m. (1200 GMT) native time on Sunday.
NBC screened footage exhibiting the lightning bolt that apparently triggered the accidents.
Skilled golf tournaments turned much more vigilant about stopping play amid the specter of lightning after two spectators have been killed at separate main championships in the USA in 1991.
One man was killed and 5 others injured whereas sheltering underneath a tree on the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine in Minnesota.
Two months later, one other spectator died when struck whereas strolling to his automobile on the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick in Indiana.
Nevertheless, whereas gamers and caddies are loaded into autos and brought again to the clubhouse in such conditions, followers are left to hunt their very own shelter, and will lack the time to go away the course safely or select not to take action.
Saturday’s stoppage got here after the leaders within the 30-man area had accomplished solely 5 holes within the season-ending occasion.
Justin Thomas led fellow American Brooks Koepka and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy by one stroke, whereas American Xander Schauffele was two behind.
The winner on Sunday will gather a file first prize of $15 million.
Reporting by Andrew Each in Cary, North Carolina,; Enhancing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond