Tiger Woods defies the odds in remarkable return to action at 86th Masters
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ESPN reporter Sage Steele is currently recovering after being hit in the face by a wayward shot at the PGA Championship on Thursday. The incident at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma reportedly left the 49-year-old covered in blood as she was taken to hospital.
Steele was covering the major for ESPN but had finished her work for the day and was watching the action from the media gallery when an errant tee shot from Jon Rahm on the third hole struck her. The ball had travelled 281 yards at 181mph as it went awry.
Golf writer Geoff Shackelford, who was also covering the event, has described an account from an eyewitness who saw Steele “on the ground, holding her nose, mouth or chin area.” And the witness said her hands were “covered in blood.”
Shackelford wrote: “I was standing behind the tee when Rahm hit a hard hook into the left trees. He immediately yelled, ‘fore left,’ and aggressively waved his arm pointing left. The impact must have been brutal: Rahm’s tee shot ended up in the centre of the fairway.”
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Steele began her work with ESPN in 2007 and frequently hosts SportsCenter while also presenting other events, including The Masters.
According to the New York Post, there was no indication Rahm or his caddie realised Steele had been struck at the time as the golfer’s shot went so far off the fairway it wasn’t picked up by television cameras. The ESPN broadcast didn’t even mention the ball had hit Steele.
A source told the publication that Steele was able to leave the scene under her own power. And sources revealed that she has since travelled home to Connecticut and will not be back on the broadcaster’s coverage of the tournament this weekend. ESPN have declined to comment about the incident.
The PGA Championship is proving to be an enthralling affair, with Will Zalatoris taking a one-shot lead into the third round. The American is bidding to win his maiden major title and followed his opening round of 66 with a round of 65 on Friday.
He will play alongside Mito Pereira, who had never previously made the cut at a major, in the final group. Meanwhile, the likes of Bubba Watson, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are in close pursuit just behind the top two. And elsewhere, Tigers Woods produced an excellent round of 69 to avoid the cut.
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