Golfer loses eye as own ball ricochets

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A golfer has lost an eye after a freak accident while playing at the new Jack’s Point course.

John Morrison, 64, was struck in the face by his own ball when it ricocheted off a rock and smashed his glasses during a round last Sunday.

He was rushed to Lakes District Hospital in Frankton then flown by helicopter to Dunedin for treatment – but medics were unable to save his right eye during an emergency operation.

“The accident happened on the second hole before lunchtime on Sunday while John was playing with his wife

Yvonne and two friends,” confirms Ben Lynch, golf operations manager at Jack’s Point.

“Everyone at the club is shocked.”

It appears Morrison’s second shot came back off a nearby rock on the left-hand side of the fairway and hit him in the face.

Ironically, the incident is believed to have happened just after he’d warned one of his playing partners to stand to the side in case of any rebound.

“John’s wife did very well in getting him back to the clubhouse in a golf cart and I called an ambulance from there,” says Lynch. “It was obvious it was serious.”

He adds: “It’s a bit of a freaky accident and we wish John all the best in his recovery.”

Morrison, from Ireland, plays off a handicap of four and spends summers living in Arrowtown, where he’s a member of Arrowtown Golf Club.

He’d been playing at Jack’s Point on Sunday as a practice run for taking part in a charity tournament for the Steve Williams Foundation being staged there today to raise funds for junior golf in New Zealand.

Morrison was yesterday still recovering in a general ward at Dunedin Hospital, where a spokeswoman says he is “progressing favourably”.