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September 17, 2019
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4 Injured in Lightning Strike at P.G.A. Tour Championship in Atlanta

4 Injured in Lightning Strike at P.G.A. Tour Championship in Atlanta
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Karen Crouse

ATLANTA — At least four spectators were hurt when lightning struck a golf course on Saturday during the third round of the P.G.A. Tour Championship.

Two lightning strikes hit the East Lake Golf Course as fans and golfers waited for bad weather to pass. The tournament’s organizers responded by stopping play for the day, pushing the round to Sunday, and said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Ambulances were summoned to a fan zone between the 16th tee and the driving range, around 4:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. One of those hit was Billy Kramer, a resident of Dunwoody, Ga., and the owner of NFA Burger, one of the tournament’s food vendors. He said he was in a cart when a lightning bolt struck a pine tree just off the path where he was driving.

“It was like a sonic boom,” said Kramer, who was seated on the grass being treated by medical personnel as he waited to be loaded into an ambulance.

A second man lay supine on the golf path, which was littered with loose acorns and bark. He was already bound to a stretcher, and was the second person to be put into an ambulance and taken away.

The third round of the Tour Championship, the P.G.A. Tour’s third and final playoff event, started at 1 p.m. under darkening skies. The final pairing in the 30-man field teed off at 3:20 p.m. and was through five holes.

In a statement, P.G.A. Tour officials said debris from the lightning hitting the tree left four people injured. “EMT tended to those fans and two others immediately and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention,” the statement said, adding that none of the injuries “appear to be life-threatening.”

Play was suspended for the day with Justin Thomas leading Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka by a single shot.

This is developing news and will be updated.


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