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Dublin: 9°C Friday 23 October 2020

Golfer hit in head by golf ball at KLM Open

Thankfully it looks as if Fabrizio Zanotti is okay.

Fabrizio Zanotti was taken to hospital today.
Fabrizio Zanotti was taken to hospital today.
Image: Mike Egerton

A STRAY GOLF ball hit BMW International Open champion Fabrizio Zanotti in the head bringing the KLM Dutch Open to a halt during Thursday’s opening round.

The 31-year-old Paraguayan was rushed to hospital but European Tour officials expressed hope that Zanotti would quickly recover.

Miguel Vidaor, European Tour tournament director, said: “The latest report from the hospital is that all neurological tests have come back clear.

“We wish Fabrizio a speedy recovery.”

Zanotti was on the 16th fairway, the seventh hole of his round, when he was hit on the forehead by a drive from Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka who was hitting off the 14th hole.

Blood began pouring from the wound, with Zanotti’s playing partner Hennie Otto immediately rendering assistance before medical staff rushed to the scene.

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The European Tour said in a statement that Zanotti did not lose consciousness and that a doctor at the course established that the player was “not in immediate danger” before he was taken to hospital.

Ambulances were then called and the Asuncion-born player was rushed to a local hospital.

Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, who was one of the first at the scene, and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez travelled in the ambulance with Zanotti and withdrew from the event to stay with the Paraguayan.

Play was suspended for about two hours because of the incident. Dutchman Joost Luiten hit a five under par 65 to take an early lead, one ahead of Frenchman Gary Stal.

- © AFP, 2014

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