UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wa. – 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, his head hitting hard. The crowd gasped as the Australian lay motionless.
It initially appeared that Day may have slipped on the fescue grass that has proven slippery for fans, players and caddies. However, Day told Greg Norman of Fox Sports, “I’ve got vertigo. I’ll be OK.”
He was tended to by medical staff for several minutes before getting up a bit shakily. He chose to finish his round, hitting out of the bunker before two-putting for a bogey and an even-par 70. At 2-under, he’s likely to make the 36-hole cut.
“Jason was diagnosed to have suffered from Benign Positional Vertigo,” according to a statement issued by his agent early Friday evening. “He was treated locally by Dr. Robert Stoecker and Dr. Charles Souliere and is resting comfortably.
“His condition is being monitored closely and he is hopeful he will be able to compete this weekend in the final rounds of the U.S. Open. “He wants to thank all who treated him at the Franciscan Medical Group and thank all of the fans and friends who have reached out to he and his family.”
Jason Spieth, playing in the same threesome as Day, said as far as he knew there was no indication that his playing partner 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 winner, has been previously dealt with vertigo symptoms. He withdrew from the AT&T Byron Nelson in May citing dizziness he experienced during a practice round.
Leading into this week, Day said he and his team have been unable to figure out what may be triggering these spells of dizziness. He’s 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 this 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 okay.
“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.”
It was not immediately known if he would be able to play on Saturday.