Published: Mon, August 26, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Fans Injured After Lightning Strikes at Tour Championship

Fans Injured After Lightning Strikes at Tour Championship

Lightning left a streak of torn bark, but the PGA Tour said the tree was determined to be safe.

Players had been removed from the course at 4.17pm with lightning in the vicinity.

The lightening strike happened during the third round of the tour championship. Then last week at the BMW Championship - the second of the three FedExCup Playoff events - Phil Mickelson almost missed his final round tee time after lightning struck his hotel near the course. "It was probably about 200 yards away", a spectator who witnessed the lightning strike told ABC affiliate station WSB-TV in Atlanta.

Dramatic slow motion footage of the incident screened by NBC television showed a lightning bolt hitting a large tree near the fans before bursting into flames.

A spokesman for the DeKalb County fire department said there were six patients.

Six people were injured at a PGA tournament in Atlanta on Saturday after lightning struck a tree underneath which they were standing to seek shelter from a storm.

Play was soon called off despite the leaders only being through five holes of their third round. Eastern Time on Sunday.

"The safety of our fans, players and partners is of the utmost importance", the PGA Tour said. "We will provide futher updates as they become available".

All play was suspended for the day in the season-ending tournament in which Justin Thomas leads Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka. Russell said that they were monitoring the "pop-up" storm closely on Saturday, but did not consider moving the round up.

"When one did form right over the top of us we suspended play immediately", he said.

Asked why tee times were not moved up far earlier in the day to take any luck out of the situation, Russell said: "I think if we did that every time we had a possibility of thunderstorms in the Southeast, we'd do that basically every time we played golf".

Two months later, another spectator died after being struck while walking to his vehicle at the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick in Indiana.

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