In July a popular tweet circulated contrasting Tiger Woods at the British Open in 2002 and at the event 16 years later. The sharpest difference was not the fit of Woods’ trousers or the height of his follow-through, but that most spectators at Carnoustie sought to experience the world’s most famous golfer through the lens of their cell phone cameras.
What made for a cute meme over the summer takes on a darker meaning now when considering the account of Corine Remande, the 49-year-old Ryder Cup spectator who was struck in the eye by an errant Brooks Koepka drive and has lost sight in her right eye. In an interview with Agence France-Presse last week, Remande said when she was writhing on the ground moments after being hit, fans around her didn’t rush to help her but instead merely took pictures.
“Before being moved, in a big mess, I was afraid of being trampled because Tiger Woods was coming and the crowd was growing around us,” Remande said. “What shocked me too was that the spectators were taking pictures of me, but no one was calling for help.”
Pictures from that day do show several people assisting Remande once Koepka reached her, while others are still taking pictures.
Remande says she is suing the event for not giving sufficient warning when Koepka’s ball was struck. Officials have refuted those claims by saying they yelled warning when the ball was struck, and that tickets explicitly warned of risk.
Remande, however, says she does not hold Koepka accountable. “I am just angry about the organization and all the marshals,” she added.
Koepka, whose Ryder Cup experience was more eventful than most, has offered apologies both in a press conference last week and on social media.
“I’m heartbroken, and all messed up inside,” Koepka said at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. “It’s sad, and I really am torn up about it. She’s not going to be able to see out of her eye ever again. All because I hit a golf ball. This is definitely the one shot in my career that I am going to regret.”