Blimp at US Open deflated, caught fire

And then the defending US Open champion missed a 10-foot birdie putt to cap a most forgettable 75 that included just one birdie, three three-putts and six shots out of the knee-high fescue that frame the generous fairways of Erin Hills.

Airsign officials later refuted eyewitness accounts suggesting the pilot had parachuted from the aircraft, saying he remained on board throughout the ordeal. I had the shakes. I missed one fairway, which is maybe the best driving round I've had in my life. "Still missed some putts that I had opportunities out there, but it's just nice to go out and actually execute the game plan". "It was a disgusting sight".

And they had plenty of company in red numbers, so much that Erin Hills set a U.S. Open record for the first round by yielding 44 sub-par rounds, breaking by five the record set in 1990 at Medinah.

The pilot of a small blimp that crashed Thursday near the U.S. Open in Wisconsin during the opening round of the golf tournament suffered serious injuries, including burns, investigators said.

'You can not play this golf course if you're not in position off the tee, and I wasn't in position, " McIlroy said.

"Yeah. My caddie made a comment on the 9th hole".

There's something to be said for not poking the bear, and Rickie Fowler has played enough U.S. Opens to know he shouldn't combine good fortune with gloating. "I guess it was nose down". I saw a puff of black smoke. I didn't know it was the blimp. The Washington County Sheriff's Office said its initial investigation shows the blimp may have experienced mechanical problems.

The crash occurred shortly before 11 a.m., reports said.

Aerial video from a television news helicopter showed pieces of the flattened blimp on the field along with charred metal and grass.

"You won't get a better day for scoring", Johnson said during the long walk to the scoring area, knowing he had wasted a prime chance in his bid to become the first back-to-back U.S. Open champion in 28 years.

Justin Maynard is a sales manager for AirSign, the advertising company that operates the blimp.

Mary Ruediger was visiting her parents who live near Erin Hills golf course when the blimp went down nearby Thursday.

"It was kind of floating and was deflating and I could see flames. Then it went behind the trees", Ruediger said. She said she drove toward the site where the blimp hit the ground.

The Federal Aviation and Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been called to investigate the crash.

"It was a horrific scene", Lovemark said.

"I didn't see it explode, but it definitely just happened when he tapped me on the shoulder. It was pretty terrible".

The drama was witnessed by several players as they progressed through the opening round of their tournament.

A blimp crashes during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament on Thursday near Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

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