Spectators struck by lightning at PGA Tour's Travelers Championship

Spectators struck by lightning at PGA Tour's Travelers Championship

Festus Chuma 10:34 - 23.06.2024

Lightning struck a tree at the Travelers Championship affecting spectators and disrupting play due to severe weather conditions.

Spectators seeking thrills at the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship experienced a shocking turn of events this weekend when lightning struck a tree just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands.

The incident occurred in Cromwell, Connecticut, where the tournament had been underway one week following the conclusion of the U.S. Open.

According to the Cromwell Police Department, emergency calls began flooding in shortly after the incident.

First responders arrived at the scene to discover the tree visibly damaged by the lightning strike and three individuals in close proximity.

Two of the bystanders were urgently treated at the scene and subsequently transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

"Cromwell Fire Department Chief Jason Brade noted in a statement that the two individuals received immediate medical attention and were taken to the hospital," reported the Associated Press.

The condition of these individuals has not been disclosed, adding a layer of concern among attendees and the local community.

A third person, who also experienced the frightening event, declined medical treatment.

The tournament itself faced significant disruptions due to the weather.

Severe conditions including torrential rain, striking lightning, and strong winds caused a nearly three-hour halt in play, affecting not only the schedule but also the safety protocols in place.

Earlier in the day, Cameron Young made headlines by shooting a 59, marking the PGA Tour’s first sub-60 round in four years, which added to the drama of the day.

Lightning strikes are not uncommon at golf events, given the expansive open areas that characterize most courses.

In fact, a similar incident in 2019 at the Tour Championship injured six people when a pine tree was hit.

The repeated occurrences of such incidents underscore the unpredictable nature of outdoor sports events and the constant need for vigilant safety measures.

Despite the interruptions play resumed with players including overnight leader Tom Kim and Akshay Bhatia making efforts to maintain their one-shot lead over formidable competitors like World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele, and Collin Morikawa.

All were keen to complete the 18 holes as they raced against the fading light, a testament to the players' resilience and dedication to the sport.

The tournament had already been affected by storms the previous day, resulting in another three-hour delay.

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