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Spectator collapses along fairway at Congressional

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BETHESDA, Md. – A 29-year-old man was hospitalized Thursday after collapsing along the 11th fairway at the U.S. Open.

The man fell to the ground near the spectator ropes as the group that included defending champion Graeme McDowell was about to play the hole at Congressional Country Club.

Assistant Chief Scott Graham of the Montgomery County Fire Department said the man was in serious condition when he was taken by ambulance to nearby Suburban Hospital. A state trooper and local police officer assigned to provide security for the players performed CPR, and emergency workers brought in a defibrillator.

The man’s name was not released.

McDowell’s group teed off, even as the man was being given chest compressions. McDowell stared intently at the scene as he walked past.

“We heard someone obviously was having some problems over there,” McDowell said. “You’re out there trying to do your best, but it certainly puts golf in perspective when you see someone obviously fighting for their life. All the people that USGA has in place this week for events like that, it’s great to see the paramedics reacting and doing the job they’re here to do. We obviously hope that person is doing OK right now.”

Heart attacks are often a concern at golf tournaments in the mid-Atlantic region because of the area’s high heat and humidity. Thursday’s weather was unusually mild for the time of year, with plenty of cloud cover and the high temperature hovering around 80.