Controversy rumbles on after Zanotti struck by errant drive

Two leading players have questioned why there was no ambulance on site after Fabrizio Zanotti was struck on the head by a ball in the KLM Open yesterday.

Controversy rumbles on after Zanotti struck by errant drive

Zanotti was on the 16th fairway at Kennemer Golf Club when he was hit by a wayward drive from France’s Alexandre Kaleka on the 14th. According to the European Tour, Zanotti did not lose consciousness and received treatment on the course from a doctor and a paramedic before he was taken to hospital.

The 31-year-old from Paraguay was accompanied by fellow players Felipe Aguilar and Ricardo Gonzalez, who withdrew from the tournament to stay with their friend. Zanotti was later discharged from hospital and wrote on Twitter that he would now take a few weeks off, but the incident caused a delay of almost two hours and left Italian pair Edoardo Molinari and Matteo Manassero particularly unhappy.

In reference to the death of caddie Iain McGregor (who died from a heart attack) in Madeira earlier this season, Molinari wrote on Twitter: “Seems like @fabrizanotti is ok. How is it possible there is no ambulance on site after what happened in Madeira.”

Manassero added on Twitter: “Let’s hope now that the second incident will guarantee ambulances on site for everybody’s safety.”

In a statement released last night, tournament director Miguel Vidaor said: “Fabrizio received impeccable medical care and attention from the team of doctors and paramedics who were already on site as part of the tournament and who are fully equipped to deal with any medical emergency.

“They subsequently deemed it necessary for Fabrizio to go to hospital as a precaution for further assessment and we are pleased to report that he has been discharged after receiving the all-clear.”

Zanotti had started his round from the 10th and was level par after six holes when the incident occurred.

Molinari carded an opening 66 to lie one shot off the lead held by defending champion Joost Luiten and Scotland’s Jamie McLeary.

Luiten carded four birdies, an eagle and just one bogey in his 65, while McLeary joined the Dutchman on five under with a birdie on the 16th just before play was suspended for the day. Play in the first round resumes at 8am this morning.

Italy’s Andrea Pavan and France’s Gary Stal were alongside Molinari on four under, with Ryder Cup player Thomas Bjorn and vice-captain Miguel Angel Jimenez off the pace on one over.

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