ESPN anchor Sage Steele is recovering after being hit in the face by an improper tee shot by Jon Rahm on Thursday’s third hole of the PGA Championship.
Golf author Geoff Shackelford described an eyewitness account of “seeing her on the ground holding her nose, mouth or chin area,” with her hands “covered in blood.” A source told the Post she ran away under her own steam.
Shackelford saw the Rahm shot — which ESPN broadcast covered 281 yards at 181 mph — go wrong.
“I was behind the tee when Rahm hit a hard hook into the trees on the left. He immediately yelled “Front left!” and aggressively waved his arm to the left,” he wrote. “The impact must have been brutal: Rahm’s shot landed in the middle of the fairway.”
Steele covered the major in Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma for ESPN’s SportsCenter. She had finished her work on the daytime program and was watching the tournament from the approved media gallery. She was hospitalized after being hit with the ball.
There was no indication that Rahm or his caddy realized what had happened in real time. The shot went so far off the fairway that the TV camera missed it. The ESPN show didn’t mention that Rahm’s ride hit Steele. At least one social media account specified that it was mentioned in SiriusXM’s coverage of the tournament.
Sources told The Post that Steele has traveled home to Connecticut and will be absent from ESPN’s coverage of the tournament this weekend.
An ESPN spokesperson declined to comment on the story.
Steele, 49, has been with ESPN since 2007. She has hosted the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the NBA Finals and SportsCenter coverage of the Super Bowl, World Series, College Football National Championship and The Masters pages.
Steele last month sued ESPN, claiming she faced retaliation for her comments on the company’s vaccine order on Jay Cutler’s podcast last September, which violated both her contract and her right to free speech.
ESPN denied her award that she was suspended over her comments, saying she continues to be a valuable on-air contributor to the network. The lawsuit says the company used the words “barred” and “take a break” to describe her absence from the air, calling those words “euphemisms” for a suspension.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/20/pga-championship-sage-steele-hurt-by-jon-rahm-errant-shot/ Sage Steele was injured by a shot from Jon Rahm