Golf: Zanotti struck in head at Dutch Open

Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Aug 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. -- PHOTO: AFP
Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Aug 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. -- PHOTO: AFP

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands (AFP) - Reigning BMW International Open champion Fabrizio Zanotti suffered a serious head injury while competing in the opening round of the Dutch Open on Thursday.

Play was suspended at the tournament because of the incident.

Zanotti was on the 16th fairway, the seventh hole of his round, when he was hit on the forehead by a drive from Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka who was hitting off the 14th hole.

Blood began pouring from the wound, with Zanotti’s playing partner Hennie Otto immediately rendering assistance before medical staff rushed to the scene.

Ambulances were called to attend to the 31-year-old Asuncion-born player and he was rushed to hospital.

Among those who raced to the scene was Chilean golfer Felipe Aguilar along with Tournament Director Daan Slooter.

Aguilar and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez traveled in the ambulance to hospital, with both players, who were on the course at the time, withdrawing from the event.

Play was halted but organizers said it would resume at 1100 GMT (7pm Singapore time).

Zanotti was level par after six holes when the accident occurred.