In golf-related news that is somehow NOT about the upstart LIV league this week, ESPN’s Sage Steele was back on the air today after being struck with a golf ball at the PGA Championship in May.

Steele relayed her version of the story here, along with co-host Matt Barrie, who was on-site with Steele in Tulsa at Southern Hills when the Jon Rahm tee shot struck her in the face. Steele’s description of the incident sounds harrowing, saying her life passed before her eyes.

“I just looked at Matt and said, ‘Please don’t leave me.’ I grabbed his ankle with my bloody hand. He said, ‘You’re going to be good. You’ll be fine.’ I don’t know if you believed it but you said it. It meant the world to me,”

Barrie also recounted the scene, noting how unlikely the situation was:

“I’ve been to a golf course my entire life. I told a couple of people it was a 1 in 50 million. I’ll say this and I’ve said this before, you took that like a champ. Most people would’ve passed out.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that and I don’t want to see anything like that again but here’s what I want to see is you back at work.”

Steele finished with some words of thanks:

“I feel like the luckiest person in the world to still be here.”

Having been to golf tournaments and having spent thousands of hours on golf courses myself, it really is wild to imagine how this happened to Steele. Obviously spectators getting injured does happen, but it’s rare. (It’s almost more of a physics thing; at the end of a ball’s flight, it’s pretty much just falling; it’s not like Rahm pulled his tee shot straight into a crowd of people off the face of the club.)


Steele might currently not be on the best terms with her employer, but that’s not really the important side of things here. And, hey, maybe she really will use Matt Barrie’s Halloween costume idea this fall.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.