Belfast Telegraph

Golf fan hit lightning in US back home in Tyrone

Ryan Murphy
Ryan Murphy

By Michael McHugh

A Co Tyrone student who was injured during a lightning strike at a golf tournament in the United States has returned home.

Ryan Murphy (19) was one of six fans caught up in the drama while attending the Tour Championship in Atlanta, which was won by Rory McIlroy at the weekend.

After blacking out Ryan was taken to hospital and had his summer holiday plans cut short.

He has now returned to Cookstown, and told RTE Radio 1 Drivetime: "I was surrounded by people and there were ambulances... it was very chaotic."

Ryan 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 on a back board and was in hospital for about seven hours, and had a CT scan.

"Whenever I woke up, I thought I had been unconscious and that I could stand up and walk away, but they told me that I had been struck by lightning," he recalled.

"Once they were putting me in the back board, I realised how serious it was, so I just let them do their job at that point."

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 £12.2m.

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

After returning home, Ryan said he isn't suffering too many after effects, adding: "Nothing serious, I haven't really slept. A few sore heads, but that's about it."

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