A golf marshal was left writhing in agony after being struck on the shoulder by an errant drive courtesy of American golfer Dustin Johnson in Friday’s action at the Saudi International tournament.
Johnson, 36, was teeing off from the tenth hole but hooked his drive off to the left and directly into the path of an unwitting marshal who had his back to the ball.
Amid presumed cries of “fore!“, the shot hit the marshal directly on the shoulder blade – with drone footage showing the man collapsing to the grass immediately after absorbing it.
The man, who was clearly in tremendous pain, writhed around on the grass just outside the fairway before the feed cut back to a concerned Johnson. Despite visual evidence suggesting otherwise, the commentators bizarrely declared that the marshal was “just fine“.
“You can take away the pain, but you can’t take away the swelling,” one said. “He’s just fine. There will be a nasty bruise.”
Despite the eye-watering opening drive, the hole wasn’t a total loss for Johnson as he managed to salvage par.
Johnson, winner of the Masters in November, opened Thursday’s play with a three-under-par 67 at the event at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on the Red Sea coast.
Impressive less than 10 people probably on that hole and he bullseyes one dude
— Jason Brown (@j0brown31) February 5, 2021
Broke rule number 1. Turned his back on the tee box.
— Alan Voorhees (@asvoorhees) February 5, 2021
The American is the bookies’ favorite to win the controversial tournament, which also features a field of Bryson DeChambeau, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson.
Tiger Woods reportedly turned down two offers of $3 million to compete at the event which has been slammed by some observers as another example of “sports-washing” – the concept of holding high-profile sporting events as a means of overshadowing perceived human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.