Pro’s caddie struck by water bottle at rowdy LIV Golf event in Australia

A general view as spectators cheer in the stands on the 12th hole during LIV Adelaide at The Grange Golf Club on April 27, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia

Fans at LIV Golf Adelaide's "watering hole."

Getty Images

In a scene reminiscent of the WM Phoenix Open’s famous 16th hole, a pro’s caddie was struck by a water bottle that was launched by a fan at LIV Golf Adelaide.

Nick Pugh, who caddies for Australian pro Lucas Herbert, was hit in the back of the head while replacing the flagstick on Grange’s Golf Club’s 12th hole, where Herbert had just holed a birdie putt.

The 12th hole at Grange GC is known as the “watering hole,” thanks to loud music, enthusiastic fans and plenty of beverages. The setup is similar to the 16th at TPC Scottsdale, with stadium-style grandstands that line the hole’s perimeter.

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According to the Sydney Morning Herald, more than 30,000 fans were on hand for Saturday’s round in Adelaide. Last year, Chase Koepka made headlines when he aced the 12th and the fans erupted, showering the hole with cups and bottles.

But this year, things took a sobering turn.

Herbert’s group was the last to play the 12th on Saturday, and the local fans reveled in his closing birdie, which capped Herbert’s round of seven-under 65.

As the celebration ensued and drinks started flying, all seemed well — until Pugh turned his back on the crowd to replace the pin, and he was struck in the back of his head by a bottle.

Pugh dropped to his knees as Herbert checked on him. Luckily, Herbert later reported that all was well.

“He’s good and he took it really well. He could have been a lot more upset with it, but he took it really well,” Herbert said, according to the Herald. “It’s probably difficult to request someone who has had 15 beers to aim a water bottle away from someone. That’s maybe asking too much.”

At the 2022 WM Phoenix Open, Sam Ryder’s ace on the 16th hole ignited a torrent of celebratory beer-throwing, highlighting the issue of player and caddie safety. The tournament moved to serving beer in plastic cups in 2023. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on

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