SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) – Sand in an eye is often no more than a minor irritation, but for Viktor Hovland on Friday it was enough to prompt him to withdraw from the U.S. Open and seek medical attention.
Hovland, a likely member of this year’s European Ryder Cup team, posted a photo on social media later that revealed a bandage taped over his eye.
Earlier, the former U.S. amateur champion from Norway tried to play through the issue at Torrey Pines, but decided it was a bridge too far after nine painful holes.
“Hit a bunker shot in my warm up today and caught some sand in my … eye,” he wrote.
“Typically, when faced with such an unfortunate circumstance, the remedial action is to blink a few times for the sand to clear.
“However, the unique San Diego sand decided to linger.”
Hovland said he was hoping that time would be his friend and that if he could get through the first few holes without dropping too many shots the eye issue might resolve itself.
But it was not to be and he called it quits after nine holes.
Hovland carded a two-over-par 74 in the first round.
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)