Golfer 'almost kills girlfriend' in social-distancing stunt

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Joost Luiten and girlfriend Melanie-Jane Lancaster. Image: Instagram

Pro golfer Joost Luiten has filmed the moment he ‘almost killed his girlfriend’ while trying to maintain a good social distance from his caddie.

The Dutch golfer was playing a round recently when he was joking with his caddie about staying at least 1.5 metres apart from each other.

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Luiten got his caddie to throw him his club from a distance so they wouldn’t get too close to each other, and then tried to hit his shot in the same motion.

But with Luietn’s girlfriend filming the stunt from in front of him, she captured the moment he sent the ball straight towards her after shanking it.

Bizarrely, Melanie-Jane Lancaster stays in the same spot as Luiten tries and tries again to pull off the feat, eventually hitting his girlfriend.

Luiten can be seen recoiling in shock as Lancaster cries out in pain, but luckily she only suffered a bruise.

“Pfff playing golf with a caddy and keeping the 1.5m is hard,” he wrote on social media with video of the incident.

“Almost killing my girlfriend in the process trying to master social distancing (she survived, just a bruise).”

He also uploaded the video to Facebook with hashtags “#morepractice” and “#toldherenottofilmfromthere”.

LPGA cancels 2020 qualifying schools

Meanwhile, the LPGA has cancelled Tour qualifying ‘Q-schools’ this year because of the coronavirus pandemic with most players retaining their status for the 2021 season.

The elite women's golf circuit tour also scrubbed the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan from the schedule.

The tour, which was suspended in late February after the Australian Open, plans to return on July 23 with the opening round of the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.

Commissioner Mike Whan said the decision to retain the same playing roster, with a few exceptions for players returning from medical exemptions or earning cards from tournament wins, was simply a matter of fairness.

Joost Luiten and his girlfriend at The Centurion Club in 2017. (Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“We really felt that the right thing to do was make sure that while COVID-19 is going to affect 2020 for everybody, it shouldn't affect your career,” he said.

“And you shouldn't find yourself back trying to play your way onto a tour when you probably didn't get a chance to play your way on or off a tour in the first place.”

There will be no qualifying for any of the remaining 20 tournaments this year, with the fields to be decided the week before the event.

The Meijer LPGA Classic had already been postponed from June to October 1-4 and will be replaced in the amended schedule by the LPGA Classic in New Jersey, which was originally slated for May 29-31.

with AAP