July 20, 2012- The third of four majors in professional golf started on Thursday. The British Open Championship played in Britain each year is one of the oldest and most respected of all tournaments in golf. Players started teeing off as early as 6:30 am local time. Fans were waiting at the gates before officials opened the course and lined fairways and greens on each hole.
One of those fans may wish he had not come. World no. 2 Rory McIlory struck his tee shot on the no. 15 hole and quickly yelled four pointing to the right. This means the ball was struck bad and was headed to the right. One fan did not hear the warning and the ball hit squarely on the top of his head. Jason Blue, from Bristol, England, was left dazed and lying on the ground.
The ball, after hitting Blue, landed out of bounds near a portable trailer. McIlory took a penalty of one stroke and went back to the tee to tee off again. He made a double bogey on the hole. He joked about the incident afterwards by saying he wished that Blue would have headed the ball in the direction of hole not the out of bounds.
This was the first British Open for Blue, who had to have his entire head wrapped in a white bandage. Fortunately, he was not injured seriously by the ball. McIlory went over to check on Blue’s condition, autographed one of his gloves and gave it to the English fan.
McIlory finished the day at 3-under par and is tied for fifth place after the first of four rounds.