When U.S. player Brooks Koepka’s misplayed drive hit Corine Remande in the face on the first day of the tournament, it was initially thought it had caused her no serious injury. But a scan later revealed that Remande’s eye socket had been fractured, and her eyeball had exploded, AFP reported.
“It happened so fast, I didn’t feel any pain when I was hit,” Corine Remande, 49, told AFP on Oct 1. “I didn’t feel like the ball had struck my eye, and then, I felt the blood start to pour. The scan on Friday confirmed a fracture of the right eye socket and an explosion of the eyeball.”
She said she may pursue legal action to help cover medical costs.
Remande had flown to France from Egypt especially to watch the Ryder Cup competition, which pits American and European teams against each other.
She had been standing in the crowd at the sixth hole at Le Golf National when an ambitious drive by US Open champion Koepka, 28, sliced off the fairway.
According to AFP, Remande said that marshals gave no warning—something that witnesses appear to confirm.
Pieter Van Der Zaag, who was in the crowd with Remande, told ABC, “The ball just came out of nowhere. No one knew it was coming. We all ducked, but she got hit. She left with bandages on her face.”
But it wasn’t the only errant shot that day to come without warning, according to ABC.
Spectator Steve Carter said: “A few moments later, Dustin Johnson sprayed his shot into fans on the other side of the fairway and then Tiger Woods’s tee shot also came this way. Again, we heard nothing until those close to us started ducking and shouting warnings.”
Remande went to the hospital as a precaution. A scan that day revealed the nature of her injuries. On Oct. 1, Remande confirmed that she had lost sight in the eye. Her husband indicated that in the best case scenario, she will be able to see only “forms.”
Koepka, a PGA Tour player who has won three major championships, apologized and signed a glove for the injured spectator at the time, before knowing how serious the injury was.
“You don’t want to hit anybody in the face, especially not a woman, and it’s not a good feeling,” Koepka said at the time.
“It’s not a fun feeling, and I probably do it way more than I should,” he said. “It seems just about every week we’re hitting somebody and, you know, it’s unfortunate because you’re never trying to. It’s hard to control a golf ball and especially for 300 yards. A lot of times, the fans are very close.”
The body that governs European golf, the EPGA, said it will “investigate” the incident, which could “take some time.”
Reuters contributed to this report.