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Heartbroken Koepka speaks out as he seeks to recover from horror accident

October 03 2018

Current US Open and US PGA Champion Brooks Koepka said today he was “heartbroken” at the news his errant tee shot could have blinded a woman.

The 28-year-old golfer said he was "all messed up inside" after Corine Remande revealed his shot at the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National had fractured her right eye socket.

“It will definitely be the one shot I regret in my career,” Koepka told a press conference ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.  “Yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. I haven’t had too many tragedies in my family, where there has been a loss or even an accident. I’ve been lucky in that sense. I’m not the biggest on social media. But when I got here, there were seven missed calls and 25 text messages. I’m just really heartbroken. My stomach sank. I had a hard time trying to focus and play golf.”

Koepka said he had reached out to the family and hopes to talk to Remande at the earliest opportunity.

"I'm torn up about it," he added. "She's not going to be able to see out of her eye again and I hit the golf ball, it's upsetting."

The incident has cast a shadow over Koepka’s preparations for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where he also found himself dismissing out of hand allegations of a heated exchange between the Floridian and his close friend Dustin Johnson both before and after the Ryder Cup.

“The whole thing is … I don’t get it,” Koepka said. “It’s actually quite funny to us. How could we get into a fight on the flight over? We were sleeping. It’s just laughable. I’d actually be curious to see who would win that fight, though. It would be interesting. It would be rough and rowdy. But we have never fought. That’s not our relationship. We are two even-keeled guys. I can’t remember raising my voice to him. And I don’t think he has ever raised his voice to me. Ever, in our four years of friendship. That’s not who we are.”

Despite the emotional turmoil of recent days, the 28-year-old insisted he was looking forward to the week ahead, not least as he would get to play his favourite course in the world, the Old Course, paired with his brother and fellow professional Chase whilst partnering with his caddie, Northern Irishman Rickie Elliott, in the pro-am section of the event.

“I love being here,” he said. “St Andrews is my favourite place to play golf. I’ve said it many times. I love the design. I love how there is always a bunker in play. And every time you play it is always a little bit different. There are so many angles out there. It is beautifully designed. And so much fun to play.”

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship takes place from 4-7 October over the Old Course, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. With a prize fund of US$5 million, it incorporates two separate competitions – an individual tournament for the leading professionals and a team championship in which the professionals are paired with amateur golfers.
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