PGA Tour winner Kevin Stadler learned a difficult, yet valuable lesson on Friday at the Web.com’s Tour’s WinCo Foods Portland Open.
Playing in just his second Web.com Tour event this season after being sidelined with a hand injury, Stadler slammed his 7-iron into the ground and the side of his foot after a shot into the par-3 15th hole. The clubhead and bottom of the shaft snapped about six inches from the bottom and flew into the crowd where it struck a fan causing a possible skull fracture and a gash that required stitches to close the wound.
A fan was hit by a broken club and required stitches Friday at the https://t.co/TPY67ehbfM Portland Open.
Kevin Stadler slammed his club in frustration causing his club head to break and struck a fan in the head.
The fan required six stitches and was released from the hospital.
— Ron Mintz (@MintzGolf) August 18, 2018
“It was a very freakish accident,” Orlando Pope, a Web.com Tour rules official, told ESPN.com’s Bob Harig. “Kevin is devastated. He had trouble trying to finish the round. He was quite worried and felt so bad.”
Stadler would go on to miss the cut.
Shaun Micheel, one of Stadler’s playing partners on Friday, posted his account to Facebook shortly after the incident.
“One of my playing partners played a poor shot with a 7-iron on the par-3 15th hole this morning. In a fit of anger, he slammed his club against the ground and the side of his foot which caused the club to break about 6” from the bottom. I had my head down, but the clubhead flew behind me and hit a spectator to my right. It’s been a while since I’ve seen so much blood. We stayed with him for about 15 minutes before the EMT’s arrived.
“The last I heard was that he had a possible skull fracture but that he was doing okay otherwise. (Stadler) was absolutely shattered and we did our best to keep his spirits up. This was not done on purpose and we were astounded at the way the club was directed but it shows you just how dangerous it is to throw or break clubs.
“Each of us in the group learned something today!”