ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Six people, including a 12-year-old, are recovering from injuries after a tree was struck by lightning at the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
The tree was located just off the 16th tee at East Lake. It struck the top and shattered bark all the way to the bottom on Saturday.
People were taking cover from rain and were injured after being hit by debris, Atlanta police said.
Witnesses told FOX 5 they saw the tree explode into a storm of splinters and pine cones
One of the people injured said that when it happened, he didn't know what hit him.
"The best way I can describe it, it was like I was blindsided by a car," food vendor Bill Kramer said. "Imagine a car accident with no car. I knew I was not bleeding. I just didn't know how badly they were injured.
Kramer said he was working just feet from where the bolts struck.
"The tree was basically split and there were pinecones all underneath it, pine needles. It was almost like the tree itself just shredded," he said.
In a statement. the PGA tour said that five of the individuals had been transported to nearby hospitals and released Saturday night. A sixth was treated on the scene.
"The safety and well-being of our fans and players is our highest priority, and we were with those being treated until they were released from area hospitals," PGA Tour officials said. "We are deeply grateful that the injuries were not more serious, and we're proud of the collective efforts of the on-site team to quickly care for our fans during this frightening incident."
Tournament play has been suspended for the rest of Saturday. The third round resumed Sunday morning, with the final round scheduled for Sunday afternoon for the FedEx Cup and the $15 million prize.
At East Lake for Tour Championship. Lightning struck about 100 yards from where we were, saw people on the ground. Have seen 3-4 ambulances drive onto the course. Lots of rumors among spectators and on Twitter but that's all I personally saw.— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) August 24, 2019
Now lots of people leaving. Some spectators say they heard play is done for the day but I haven't heard officially. We were asked (nicely) by trooper to head out as well so we are.— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) August 24, 2019
The Associated Press contributed to this report.