ESPN anchor Sage Steele was injured Thursday at the PGA Championship when she was accidentally hit in the face with a golf ball.
The incident happened on the third hole at the Southern Hills golf course in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the New York Post.
Golfer Jon Rahm sent a drive that hooked hard into some trees to the left of the fairway.
“I was standing behind the tee when Rahm hit a hard hook into the left trees. He immediately yelled ‘Fore Left!’ and aggressively waved his arm pointing left,” golf writer Geoff Shackelford wrote on Substack.
Shackelford said an eyewitness “saw [Steele] on the ground, holding her nose, mouth or chin area” with her hands “covered in blood.”
In a video that appears to show the incident, the ball heads into the trees before a woman is seen holding her hands to her face as she kneels on the ground.
Sage Steele apparently got hit hard with a golf ball from a Jon Rahm tee shot at PGA Championship pic.twitter.com/YEUMOLOuIK
— Piñata Farms 🪅 (@pinatafarms) May 20, 2022
“Medical personnel were summoned but the PGA of America was unaware of the incident and deferred to ESPN. A spokesman there also had no comment,” according to Shackelford.
“The impact must have been brutal: Rahm’s tee shot ended up in the center of the fairway,” Shackelford wrote, meaning that the ball hit Steele so hard it bounced from the trees to the fairway.
Rahm and his caddie did not appear to be aware that the ball hit anyone, Shackelford said.
The shot traveled 281 yards, with the ball flying at 181 mph, according to the Post.
The outlet reported that Steele, 49, walked away unaided. She was later hospitalized for her injury.
Steele reportedly returned to her home in Connecticut after the accident and will not be covering the PGA Championship over the weekend.
At the time she was hit, Steele had finished her coverage for the day and was a spectator of the event, watching play from a media gallery.
Steele has been with ESPN since 2007. She recently sued the network for allegedly retaliating against her after she made public comments critical of the company’s vaccine mandate.
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