Belfast Telegraph

Co Tyrone student injured by lightning at golf event

Ryan Murphy was at the Tour Championship in Atlanta won by Rory McIlroy.

Spectators were tended to after a lightning strike on the East Lake Golf Club. (John Amis/AP)
Spectators were tended to after a lightning strike on the East Lake Golf Club. (John Amis/AP)
Rory McIlroy (Niall Carson/PA)

By Michael McHugh, PA

A Co Tyrone student was one of six golf fans injured by lightning at a golf event in the US on Saturday.

Ryan Murphy, 19, attended the Tour Championship in Atlanta won by Rory McIlroy.

After blacking out he was taken to hospital and had his summer holiday plans cut short as he returned home to Cookstown following the freak injury.

He told RTE Radio 1 Drivetime: “I was surrounded by people and there were ambulances… it was very chaotic.”

He said he remembered walking across the course to a fan shop and the next thing he knew he had fallen to the ground with his ears ringing.

He was put in a neck brace and back board and was in hospital for about seven hours, and had a CT scan.

He told presenter Mary Wilson he was a McIlroy fan and was following him on Friday and Saturday.

Mr Murphy’s father had become worried about him when he failed to return calls.

Plans to go to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas and finish in New York were cut short.

McIlroy won the tournament by four shots to earn prize money worth £12.2 million.

Mr Murphy had been working at a summer camp in Wisconsin, and Atlanta was the first point on his planned tour of the US.

He said he had not really slept since the incident and had a sore head but escaped largely unscathed.

PA

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