herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

ZANOTTI LEAVES HOSPITAL CARE

Paraguayan struck on head by wayward ball

FABRIZIO ZANOTTI was discharged from hospital yesterday evening after being struck on the head by a ball during the first round of the KLM Open.

The 31-year-old Paraguayan was on the 16th fairway at the Kennemer Golf Club in the Dutch coastal town of Zandvoort when he was struck by a ball hit from the 14th tee by Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka.

Play was suspended for nearly two hours but Zanotti, who won the BMW International Open earlier this season, did not lose consciousness and received treatment on the course before being taken to hospital.

"Thanks a lot for the messages, I have been discharged from the hospital. Now I will have to take a couple of weeks off," Zanotti said on Twitter.

Fellow players Felipe Aguilar and Ricardo Gonzalez accompanied Zanotti to hospital and the pair withdrew from the tournament to stay with him.

Tournament director for the European Tour Miguel Vidaor said: "The report from hospital is that all neurological tests have come back clear. We wish Fabrizio a speedy recovery."

Kaleka managed to shake off the incident, carding a par-four at the 14th and a birdie at the next hole on his way to a two-over-par 72.

Dutchman Joost Luiten and Scotland's McLeary were the first-round leaders with rounds of 65 when bad light stopped play last night.

Shane Lowry completed his round with a par (70) with Damien McGrane a shot further back.

SOUTH KOREA'S Hyo Joo Kim shot a record low major championship round of 61 to take a four-stroke lead into the second round of the final major of the season in Evian-les-Bains.

The 19-year-old's 10-birdie round eclipsed by one stroke the previous record held jointly by Minea Blomqvist and Lorena Ochoa, and is two better than the men's best held by multiple players at 63.

Australia's Karrie Webb is in second place on 65, one stroke ahead of another Korean, Mi Jung Hur.

However, Michelle Wie's return lasted just 13 holes before she was forced to retire after aggravating a finger injury.

Wie sat on a five-over-par 56 when she conceded she could not continue.

The US Open champion has been sidelined for a month with the injury and only started playing full shots last week.

But she appeared determined to return in time for Evian, saying earlier this week: "I kind of have the mindset where I'm going to hit 230-yard drives.

"I'm definitely one club less, not hitting as far as I want to. At the same time,

"I'm just really excited that I can hit balls, I can come out here and play," she added.

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