Getting hit with golf ball just part of the game

PGA notebook

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Some of the intrigue heading into the PGA Championship at Southern Hills had to do with the compact nature of the grand old layout, where greens are often so close to tees that players get in logjams waiting for each other.

Turned out it was two relatively wide open areas of the course where noteworthy people got hit. In one case, it was one contender hitting another player.

That happened on the par-4 second hole Friday when Cameron Smith, fresh off a birdie to open his round, hit a wild tee shot that sailed over the trees and into the seventh fairway. The ball wound up striking Aaron Wise, who had opened with a 69 and was on his way toward a second-round 72 that left him 1 over for the championship.

Wise, who was seen holding a water bottle on top of his noggin, managed to par the seventh hole. He also parred the long par-3 eighth before making bogey from the bunker on the final hole and heading in for some treatment.

Wise’s management team said he was doing well and expected to play Saturday.

Smith wound up shooting 70 on Friday and was 2 under for the tournament.

Meanwhile, ESPN anchor Sage Steele was flying home to Connecticut on Friday after she was struck in the face by Jon Rahm’s tee shot and needed medical attention during the opening round of the tournament.

Steele was covering the PGA for “SportsCenter” and was finished for the day, so she headed onto the course to watch Rahm’s grouping with Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler. That’s when Rahm hooked his shot and, despite frantically waving to warn fans in that direction, the ball hit Steele near her nose and mouth about 280 yards away.

Steele is expected to make a full recovery.

Going home

For the second time in three years, no club professionals made the cut at the PGA Championship.

The closest was Matthew Borchert, the pro at Isleworth in Windermere, Florida, who followed up his first-round 73 with 74 on Friday. That left him 7-over par and three above the cut line, which landed at plus 4.

Jesse Mueller, an assistant coach at Grand Canyon University, had the best round among the 20 club pros when he holed out for eagle on his first hole and shot 72 on Thursday. Mueller shot 78 on Friday.

Getting noticed

Joaquin Niemann shot a second-round 71 to leave him 1 under for the championship. He is one of a record six Latin American players in the field.


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