TULSA, Okla. – Ice pack on his head, Aaron Wise said he felt “fine” but “a little sore” after being hit in the head with an errant tee shot Friday at the PGA Championship.
Wise was standing on the right edge of the seventh hole at Southern Hills when he bent down to identify his ball in the rough. That’s when Cam Smith, playing the adjacent second hole, sent his tee shot wide right (graphic below) in a strong left-to-right wind. Despite Smith yelling “fore!” from the tee, 300 yards away, none of the players up ahead heard the warning.
Smith’s tee shot clocked Wise on the right side of his head.
“I was surprised my ball wasn’t in the fairway, and the next thing you know, there’s a little bit of ringing in my head and I was down on the fairway,” Wise said on his way to the parking lot.
Joel Dahmen, who was playing with Wise, said that Smith’s tee shot delivered a “glancing blow” and rocketed about 40 to 50 yards farther down the fairway. ShotLink data showed that Smith’s tee shot ultimately traveled 316 yards, leaving him 190 yards to the hole and a direct line to the flag through the trees. He wound up making par.
“All the spectators heard it,” Dahmen said of the contact. “It was loud.”
Wise, meanwhile, was left to gather himself. A rules official was in the area, and Wise asked for a cold water bottle to place on his head for some relief.
“He was definitely shook getting into that [next] shot, for sure,” Dahmen said.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of adrenaline in the body after something like that happens,” Wise said, “so it’s really just trying to calm myself down and get back to feeling somewhat normal for the last few holes.”
With 180 yards left, Wise missed right of the seventh green but got up-and-down for a remarkable par, under the circumstances. He made par on the next hole, too, before a bogey on the last sent him to a 2-over 72. Through two rounds he was at 1-over 141, nine off the 36-hole lead.
Smith, who shot even-par 70 to sit at 2 under, didn't know that he struck Wise until Golf Channel reporter Todd Lewis informed him after he completed play.
"Oh, I didn’t know that. No one told me. Oh, I’m so sorry. That’s the first time that I’ve heard it," Smith responded when Lewis asked him about the incident.
"I hope he’s alright."
After his round, Wise signed his scorecard and grabbed another ice pack. He was whisked into the player services area, where he rested for about 20 minutes and saw the on-site medical team.
Asked later about the location of the strike, Wise removed his hat and showed a faint red line, just to the right of the Adidas logo.
“That’s the line from his ball!” he laughed.
“But I feel fine,” he said. “A little sore, but I feel fine.”
It’s the second reported incident this week of a foul ball causing injury. In the opening round, according to the New York Post, Jon Rahm’s tee shot on the third hole hooked left and hit “SportsCenter” anchor Sage Steele in the mouth. The Post reported that she was hospitalized.