Lightning struck during the FedEx Cup at East Lake Golf Club course on Saturday. The inclement weather caused a delay during the third round of the PGA Tour Championship and play was halted until Sunday. Shortly after the announcement, video surfaced of lightning striking a tree on the course in Atlanta, Georgia, and reporter Mike Tirico of NBC reported that multiple people were injured.
Joe Beall of Golf Digest tweeted that the two lightening strikes hit at East Lake Golf Course, and that police reported that six people have been transported to the hospital. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, those injured included a 12-year-old child. However, none of the injuries reported appear to be life-threatening, and no one is in critical condition.
Video of the lightening was captured and shared on Twitter by Blake Manuel. In the clip, you can see the massive lightning bolt hit a tree, which then bursts into flames, leaving a cloud of black smoke in its wake.
Slow-motion video of the lightning strike was posted online by Craig Lucie. In this clip captured from his TV, it appears as if the entire sky lights up after the tree is hit. Afterward, the tree continues to burn as smoke fills the area. According to Lucie, who was at The FedEx Cup the day prior, when large screens flashed signs for people to seek shelter due to the inclement weather, “many people did not seek shelter.”
An hour before the lightning struck on Saturday, Heavy reporter Jonathon Adams, who was on the scene at the East Lake Golf Course, snapped a photo of the darkening skies in Atlanta. Afterward, Adams was also able to grab a close-up of the tree that was hit during the storm, in which you can see a large branch hanging down as people scramble away to safety in the background.
The PGA Puts Out an Official Statement
Reporter Evan Priest tweeted out an official statement from the PGA regarding the double lightning strikes at the FedEx Cup Tournament on Saturday. “At 4:17 p.m., the third round of the TOUR championship was suspended due to inclement weather in the area. At 4:45 p.m., there were two lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Club; a tree near the range/15 green/16 tee was hit, and debris from that strike injured four people.
EMT tended to those fans and two other immediately and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention. Our latest report is that their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
Due to these circumstances, the third round has been suspended for the day and play will resume on Sunday at 8 a.m. ET.
The safety of our fans, players and partners is of the utmost importance. We will provide futher updates as they become available.”
Mintz tweeted, “This incident is always a fear of mine where you have 40,000 fans spread across a golf course, with no shelters, and not enough buses to transport fans to their vehicles. They had no where to go,” and that “Unfortunately, when it rains people stand under trees too, and that is the worst place to be.” The golf analyst said the PGA did the right thing in delaying the game, and sent prayers to the fans injured.