For Kenny Pigman, this is supposed to be a special week. He doesn’t usually get to tee it up with the best players in the world.
Which is why it had to be pretty shocking for him to see a golf ball careening toward him Thursday during the first round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
The culprit? Bryson DeChambeau, whose approach shot on the 17th hole veered so far off target it actually struck Pigman while he was standing on the 18th tee box.
Fortunately for Pigman, DeChambeau apparently yelled “Fore” to warn the 34-year-old club pro to duck for cover. It’s not clear if the ball hit him off a ricochet or on the fly, but it didn’t appear to have much velocity when it made contact. Pigman thankfully looked like he was fine.
DeChambeau has long been known for his incredible distance, but that power sometimes leads to some wildly off-target shots. This one, per the PGA Championship’s shot tracker, went around 40 yards wide of the green.
This was likely a lot more than Pigman bargained for when he earned his spot in the field via the PGA Professional Championship qualifier last month.
The PGA Championship is unique in how it allows 20 club professionals from around the country to qualify for the tournament. These aren’t your typical PGA Tour players who are earning millions and playing on TV. They’re just everyday local golf pros.
Pigman, 34, is the head pro at Arrowhead Country Club in San Bernardino, Calif. This is his second PGA Championship after he played in the 2017 event at Quail Hollow. Pigman missed the cut that week, and he has some work to do to avoid missing it again.
At least he’ll leave Oak Hill with a memory.