Lancashire teenager Jason Blue was standing in the rough lining Royal Lytham’s 15th fairway yesterday afternoon when he was struck in the head by a wayward tee shot.
The 16-year-old had been straining to catch a glimpse of Rory McIlroy at the time, little realising Fate had contrived a scenario under which he could meet the former US Open champion.
“I can remember something hit me in the head and I fell over. I thought what the hell was that? What’s hit me? It must be a golf ball.
“We couldn’t see the tee because everyone down the side had umbrellas up and so we had no idea it was coming towards us, even though they’d put their hands out on the tee.
“I closed my eyes with the shock of it as I tried to work out what had happened, but I wasn’t out cold and then there was people crowding around me.”
McIlroy arrived on the scene to find Blue in the care of a medical team, his head swathed in gauze. Described by onlookers as “quite apologetic”, the Northerner paused to autograph a glove (“Sorry – Rory McIlroy”) before going about his business.
*UPDATE* McIlroy later paid for Blue to spend the night in a local hotel; the teenager had planned on overnighting in a tent.
“I hated the thought of him spending the night in a tent after getting that bang on the head.
“I’d like him to have a roof over his head tonight and a comfortable place to stay. It’s the least I can do.”
Actually, shouting fore was the least he could have done.