Golfer hit in head by ball during KLM Open


An ambulance was called onto the greens at the KLM Open yesterday after Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti was hit on the forehead by a wayward tee shot from Alexandre Kaleka during the opening round in the Netherlands.

The world number 97 was playing on the 16th fairway when he was sickeningly hit by the Frenchman’s drive off the 14th. Play was suspended while the 31-year-old received treatment for his injury.

It was later confirmed by tournament director Miguel Vidaor that Zanotti was given the all-clear and discharged from hospital.

Zanotti was accompanied to the hospital by fellow players Felipe Aguilar and Ricardo Gonzalez – who both withdrew from the opening round.

KLM Open director Daan Slooter told BBC Sport: "Unfortunately, there was not an ambulance on site, as requested by the European Tour.

"We took the decision not to have one because the first aid provision was capable of dealing with an incident like this, and indeed any other medical emergency.

"The hospitals nearby and the ambulance system in Holland could respond quickly if further assistance was required, and indeed the ambulance responded within the parameters of Dutch law.

"In light of what happened with Fabrizio, we now have an ambulance on site for the remainder of the tournament."

Zanotti had enjoyed his best season on the European Tour, sitting comfortably 27th in the Race to Dubai prior to the start of the tournament. He had been forced to regain his Tour card after a poor 2013 season, but turned his fortunes around to become the first Paraguayan to win on the European Tour when he claimed his maiden title at the BMW International Open at Gut Lärchenhof in June.

The TaylorMade golfer is said to be recovering well.