UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — A dizzy spell while walking to the green on the ninth hole at Chambers Bay on Friday afternoon sent Jason Day to the ground and a grandstand full of spectators into shock at the 115th U.S. Open.
Day was walking toward his ball in the bunker of the par-3 ninth hole when he fell to his left with his head hitting the ground hard. The crowd gasped as the Australian lay motionless.
It initially appeared that Day might have slipped on the fescue grass that has proved difficult to negotiate for fans, players and caddies. However, Day told Greg Norman of Fox Sports, “I’ve got vertigo. I’ll be OK.”
Day was attended to by medical staff for several minutes before getting up rather shakily. He chose to finish his round, splashing out of the bunker before two-putting for bogey and a par 70. At 2 under, he was likely to make the 36-hole cut.
Jason Spieth, playing in the same threesome as Day, said as far as he knew there was no indication that Day was having any medical difficulty.
“It wasn’t mentioned by him earlier in the round to me,” Spieth said. “He may have mentioned it to Colin (caddie Colin Swatton), but I was walking with him, the next thing I know I turned around and I think he got dizzy and slipped and fell.
“So at that point, how can we help him out and kind of clear the scene and try and keep the cameras off and let him just rebound from being dizzy. That’s all it was, I think.
“I don’t think it was a slip off of the ground. I think it was maybe a little dehydration or something. I’m not really sure. He didn’t mention much after the round. We were trying to look out for him.”
Day, a three-time PGA Tour winner, previously dealt with vertigo symptoms. He withdrew from the AT&T Byron Nelson in May after experiencing dizziness during a practice round.
Coming into this week, Day said he and his advisers had been unable to figure out what might be triggering the dizziness. He has undergone several sleep studies but hasn’t been given a definitive answer.
Tiger Woods, who was on the ninth tee waiting to play his final hole of the Grand Slam event, was an eyewitness.
“I didn’t know what happened, but knew he was laying down there,” Woods said. “I know he didn’t play in Dallas this year because of vertigo. I played with him at the Memorial and we talked about it in depth and he did a lot of blood panel and all that stuff. I hope he’s OK. I’ll call him as soon as I’m done here and see if he’s all right.
“He’s one of my really close friends.”
Day was transported to Tacoma General Hospital via ambulance. It was not immediately known if he would be able to play in the third round on Saturday.