Zanotti injury overshadows KLM Open

Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti is taken to hospital after being struck in the head. Picture: Thos Caffrey /

The opening round of the KLM Open was delayed by nearly two hours and completely overshadowed by the sight of Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti being hospitalised after being struck on the forehead by a hooked tee shot from an adjoining fairway.

Zanotti was on the 16th fairway when he was hit by the tee shot of Alexandre Kaleka from the 14th hole at Kennemer Golf and Country Club. He was later released from hospital after tests.

Fellow professionals Felipe Aguilar and Ricardo Gonzalez accompanied him to hospital and withdrew from the tournament to stay with him, which must go down as one of the most selfless acts by professional golfers since Peter Lawrie withdrew from the Madeira Islands open following the sudden death of caddie Iain McGregor from a heart-attack.

There was no ambulance on site in that occasion and it remains to be seen if there was one on site in Holland, judging by a tweet from Edoardo Molinari.

According to the European Tour, Zanotti did not lose consciousness and immediately received medical attention on the course from a doctor and a paramedic.

"The doctor quickly established he was not in any immediate danger after following the medical protocol for this type of injury. He was then subsequently taken to hospital as a precaution for further medical assessment.... Play was suspended at 11.09am to allow the player to receive treatment and resumed at 1pm.
"Miguel Vidaor, Tournament Director for The European Tour, said: 'The latest report from hospital is that all neurological tests have come back clear. We wish Fabrizio a speedy recovery."

As for the tournament, defending champion and home hero Joost Luiten fired a five under 65 to take the clubhouse lead to establish a one shot clubhouse lead before fading light stopped play. 

Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington signed for level par 70s though the Tullamore man was almost certainly the happier of the two.

Harrington birdied the third and eagled the seventh but bogyed the 10th and double bogeyed the 13th to finish the day tied for 44th.

Damien McGrane (71) and Darren Clarke (73) were the only other Irish players to complete their rounds.

Simon THornton was one under with four to play with David Higgins level par after 12 and Michael Hoey one over after 14.

The remaining three Irish players were struggling with Gareth Maybin two over after 16, Kevin Phelan two over after nine and Lawrie three over after 12. 

KLM Open (round one to be completed on Friday) Par 70

65 J Luiten (Ned)

66 A Pavan (Ita), G Stal (Fra), E Molinari (Ita)

67 E Goya (Arg), A Sullivan (Eng), D Im (USA), M Kieffer (Ger), T Aiken (RSA)

68 D Foos (Ger), M Warren (Sco), P Larrazábal (Esp), P Casey (Eng), M Manassero (Ita)

69 C Doak (Sco), J Doherty (Sco), R Karlsson (Swe), R Ramsay (Sco), B Koepka (USA), V Riu (Fra), D Fichardt (RSA), A Gee (Eng), P Waring (Eng), C Lee (Sco), E Pepperell (Eng), M Ilonen (Fin)

70 G Bhullar (Ind), R Bland (Eng), D Stewart (Sco), W Ormsby (Aus), J Blixt (Swe), S Lowry (Irl), S Dyson (Eng), S Kjeldsen (Den), A Forsyth (Sco), T Pieters (Bel), M Baldwin (Eng), N Fasth (Swe), J Carlsson (Swe), J Quesne (Fra), P Whiteford (Sco), P Harrington (Irl)

71 M Madsen (Den), J Hahn (USA), R Jacquelin (Fra), R Derksen (Ned), M Lampert (Ger), M Jiménez (Esp), G Fdez-Castaño (Esp), M Crespi (Ita), T Björn (Den), M Nixon (Eng), J Parry (Eng), D McGrane (Irl), N Elvira (Esp), C Del Moral (Esp), J Krietemeijer (am) (Ned)

72 C Arendell (USA), R Santos (Por), A Otaegui (Esp), K Broberg (Swe), E Grillo (Arg), L Slattery (Eng), D Horsey (Eng), N Colsaerts (Bel), A Kaleka (Fra), R Kind (Ned), B An (Kor)

73 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), J Billing (Swe), M Lundberg (Swe), L Bjerregaard (Den), J Kruger (RSA), R Rock (Eng), G Storm (Eng), J Morrison (Eng), F Andersson Hed (Swe), E De La Riva (Esp), D Drysdale (Sco), D Clarke (Nir), D Van Driel (am) (Ned)

74 F Calmels (Fra), D Lipsky (USA), V Van Veen (am) (Ned)

75 R Fisher (Eng), A Hartø (Den), T Remkes (Ned), D Brooks (Eng), S Wakefield (Eng), D Lynn (Eng),

76 J Lara (Esp), S Strüver (Ger)

77 J Dantorp (Swe), J Kingston (RSA), H Otto (RSA), S Prins (am) (Ned)

78 S Walker (Eng)

82 A Saddier (Fra)

** F Zanotti (Par), F Aguilar (Chi), R Gonzalez (Arg), T Levet (Fra)