ATLANTA, GA — Six fans at East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta, which is hosting the FedEx Cup Championship, were injured Saturday after two lightning strikes hit the green late afternoon, according to officials. Accompanying thunder from the severe weather reportedly made it feel like the clubhouse shook from the event.
In a statement, the PGA said that play was suspended due to inclement weather at 4:17 p.m. Just under half an hour later, there were two lightning strikes that hit the course. According to the PGA, the lightning hit a tree and debris from that tree hit and injured six fans.
According to Atlanta Police, the injured were five men and a young girl. Police said the victims were seeking shelter from a storm under the tree.
The fans were treated by EMTs before being taken to the hospital. Police said all victims were alert, conscious, and breathing when they were taken to the hospital for treatment. One of the victims was treated at the scene. On Sunday, the PGA said that all fans had been released from the hospital.
“The safety of our fans, players and partners is of the utmost importance,” the PGA said.
Officials also assessed the integrity of the pine tree that had been struck by lightning and determined that it was safe.
Mark Russell, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competitions, said signs were posted on scoreboards of severe weather approaching.
“When we suspend play, we encourage everybody to leave and take shelter anywhere they can,” Russell told The Associated Press. “We opened up hospitality areas that are grounded, a lot of other places like that. You’ve got a lot of people, and you have to do that quickly, and sometimes people don’t take shelter.”
PGA Tour-sanctioned events have not had a death from lightning since the summer of 1991.
Reporting and writing from The Associated Press was used in this report.