Golfers in war of words after caddie’s mom hit by stray ball

His drive hit his playing partner’s caddie’s mom, but Kyle Stanley’s refusal to shout “fore” sparked a war of words in the Open at Royal Portrush Friday.

American Stanley, 31, was accused by Scot Robert MacIntyre of endangering the crowd by not issuing the conventional shout after hitting a wayward shot into the gallery on the 17th which hit a woman on the hand after bouncing.

The 22-year-old MacIntyre was angered by several incidents involving the two-time PGA Tour winner during their second round — and told him so.

“There’s a few things I wasn’t happy about today,” MacIntyre told reporters Friday.

“And coming down the last I wasn’t happy with one on 17.

“Playing partner doesn’t shout ‘fore.’ The ball is going in the crowd. We’re shouting as it’s coming down in to the crowd and he’s just standing watching it. People don’t have enough time to react after we shout. It hits Greg, my caddie’s mom. I think she’s all right, but it’s not what you want. And so I told them how it was.”

MacIntyre, who was also playing with Englishman Andrew Johnston, said of his admonishment Stanley “didn’t take it too well.”

“It wasn’t too pleasant but you’ve got to tell them,” he added.

For his part, Stanley claims “several” people, including MacIntyre, Johnston, his caddie and marshals were shouting and signalling it was going right, so felt “everyone knew” where the ball was headed.

“To me it’s kind of a non issue, I’m not really sure why he’s decided to make such an issue out of it,” he told reporters waiting to quiz him after his third round Saturday.

“As far as I’m concerned a number of people yelled ‘fore.’ He made the argument that since I hit the ball it should have came out of my mouth first and I guess I can see that. It’s unfortunate it ended up the way it did. It certainly wasn’t my intention to put anyone in harm’s way. I had my wife in the gallery, my coaches. I’m surprised it’s come to this point.”

Stanley insists he usually does shout “fore” but says it was a “unique” situation with marshals signalling and marshals down in the landing area indicating the incoming ball. He admitted he hit another wayward shot on the 14th and relied on his caddie to shout.

The American denied the exchange with MacIntyre became ill tempered.

“I wouldn’t say heated, we talked about it briefly,” he said. “I was kind of caught off guard that it even came up really.

“Listen, I saw what he said, the way things were painted from his perspective he left off quite a few details. They knew the ball was going over there.”

Stanley claims he asked everyone in the crowd if he hit anybody when he got to his ball. “That’s the first thing you do and that’s what I did but no one told me I hit anybody,” he said, adding the first time he heard he had hit someone was in the scorer’s trailer afterwards.

He said he had nothing to apologize about and added: “When you talk about the boundaries of etiquette in golf it’s kind of a touchy situation

“To paint somebody in a bad light not playing within the etiquette of the game, you’ve got to be careful when you do that.

“When you tell your story you’ve got to make sure you’ve got all the details and from what I read last night he didn’t do that.

“He’s a young player and I’ve been out here a while. I don’t feel I need to be schooled in the laws of golf.”

Wayward shots are an occupational hazard in golf, but there has been growing anger in recent years that pros on the PGA Tour and European Tour do not shout “fore” often enough.

A spectator was struck by a stray ball hit by Brooks Koepka at the Ryder Cup last year and claims she lost the sight in her eye.

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