Golfer wins damages over eye 'explosion'

Anthony Phee Anthony Phee said he felt his eye 'explode' when the golf ball hit him

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A golfer who lost an eye after he was hit by a wayward ball has won almost £400,000 in damages.

Anthony Phee, 44, from Manchester, earlier told the Court of Session in Edinburgh he had ducked and put a hand up when he heard a shout of "fore".

But he was hit on the Niddry Castle golf club at Winchburgh, West Lothian, in 2007 and felt his eye "explode".

Mr Phee, who now has a prosthetic eye, sued both the player who struck the shot and the course owner.

Mr Phee said: "I am delighted at the judgment and relieved that the court case is over.

"No-one expects to lose an eye when they go to play golf and adjusting to partially losing my sight has been a harrowing experience. I now just want to move on with my life.

"I would like to thank my legal team for their support and consideration throughout this long and distressing ordeal."

Niddry Castle golf course - pic by Richard Webb Anthony Phee told the court he was unfamiliar with the layout of Niddry Castle golf course

Mr Phee was walking between holes when he was hit by a shot struck by James Gordon from the 18th tee.

Damages were agreed at £397,000, and, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Brailsford said Mr Gordon, from Livingston, was 70% liable, while the club was 30% liable.

Lord Brailsford said a golfer of Mr Gordon's experience should have been aware of the risk his tee shot posed to Mr Phee, adding that Niddry Castle golf club failed in its duty to provide proper safety signs.

Lawyers acting for both Mr Gordon and the club had claimed "contributory negligence", saying Mr Phee looked up on hearing a warning shout of "fore".

But the judge accepted evidence from Mr Phee and his playing companions that, on hearing the call, he ducked or cowered while putting his left hand up to shield his head.

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