Reporter struck in face by 'brutal' PGA Championship tee shot

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
ESPN host Sage Steele was reportedly struck by an errant PGA Championship tee shot hit by US Open champion Jon Rahm. Pictures: Instagram/Twitter
ESPN host Sage Steele was reportedly struck by an errant PGA Championship tee shot hit by US Open champion Jon Rahm. Pictures: Instagram/Twitter

ESPN reporter Sage Steele is reportedly recovering after being hit in the face by an errant John Rahm tee shot at the PGA Championship.

Steele was taken to hospital after being struck by the tee shot, with a witness describing a nasty impact as the reporter watched play from the media gallery.

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Rahm immediately called fore after hitting the shot - but his warnings weren't enough to prevent Steele from taking a brutal impact.

Fellow reporter Geoff Shackelford described a confronting scene after Steele was collected by the errant drive, with the ball bouncing all the way back out onto the fairway after impact.

Rahm's shot was launched 256 metres, travelling at a top speed of 291 kilometers per hour according to the ESPN broadcast's measurements.

A witness told Shackelford that Steele had been hit hard, leaving behind a bloody scene.

“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,” Shackelford wrote in his newsletter.

“The impact must have been brutal: Rahm’s tee shot ended up in the centre of the fairway.”

A witness also told Shackelford that they 'saw [Steele] on the ground, holding her nose, mouth or chin area' and that her hands were 'covered in blood'.

The 49-year-old has reportedly returned home.

Steele is in the midst of a lawsuit against ESPN, alleging she was retaliated against after discussing the company's vaccine mandate for employees on the podcast of former NFL player Jay Cutler.

ESPN has denied claims Steele was suspended from the network, with the lawsuit saying the characterisation of Steele 'taking a break' was a 'euphemism' for being suspended.

Justin Thomas takes clubhouse lead in PGA with 67

Justin Thomas shot a second consecutive 67 at the PGA Championship, relying on some superlative iron play to handle windy Southern Hills and take the clubhouse lead.

The round put the American a shot ahead of Rory McIlroy at six under for the tournament. McIlroy was yet to start his second round.

Thomas made birdie at the par-4 10th, his first hole of the day, and was still one under for the round when he reached the par-5 fifth. He made birdie there, then made three straight pars, before another birdie at the difficult par-4 ninth.

"The greens are soft and receptive enough that if you land it on the green it is not going to get too far away from you," said Thomas to Sky Sports.

"I enjoyed it a lot. It brings out a good part of my game and I am comfortable with it. Playing well definitely helps, I don't really worry about my golf swing or mechanics.

Justin Thomas has taken the clubhouse lead at the 2022 PGA Championship. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/PGA of America/PGA of America via Getty Images )
Justin Thomas has taken the clubhouse lead at the 2022 PGA Championship. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/PGA of America/PGA of America via Getty Images )

"I am just stepping into each shot and trying to start the ball on a proper line and get it to come down in a certain area and hit a certain trajectory and hopefully it ends out as a 67 like today.

"I really wanted to at least have the lead when I finished. You never know what is going to happen, selfishly I hope these boys get a little bit of wind for what we dealt with this morning."

Two-time champion Brooks Koepka also shot 67 during Friday's early wave, bouncing back from a disappointing 75 in the opening round to get within the projected cut line.

The 'current champions' group had a mixed day.

US Open champion Rahm is the only one sure to make the cut after shooting 69 to be two over.

British Open champion Colin Morikawa has a chance after carding a second successive 72 to be four over, but Masters champion Scottie Scheffler made 75, leaving him six over and unlikely to make the weekend.

With agencies

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