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Players Championship: This scary Max Homa fan video will keep you from standing too close to tour pros hitting shots

It happens nearly every week. Fans at a tour event swarm an errant shot outside the ropes, hoping to see a pro golfer up close or to get on TV when they hit their next shot. And you can’t necessarily blame them for wanting to be right in the thick of the action.

Yet here’s the thing: We know how good tour players are, but even the top 0.0001 percent of the best golfers in the world are capable of bad shots once in a while. So when a video surfaced on social media of Max Homa from Saturday’s third round of the Players Championship, it had our collective hearts’ racing at what could have happened, but thankfully didn’t, to the poor fan holding the camera here.

The video shows Homa hitting an iron shot—it is believed to be from the 14th hole if our context clues and Shotlink research is correct—that comes dangerously close to caroming off a fan’s head. As it turns out, the ball actually hit a tree. If you look at the Shotlink tracker, the ball wound up hitting the tree so hard that crossed the entire fairway into a bunker on the other side of the hole.

We can only imagine the panic that the fan with the camera had to be feeling at this moment. (And for that matter Homa.)

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Of course, fans unfortunately get accidentally hit at golf tournaments all the time—the most gruesome recent example being Brooks Koepka nailing a fan at the 2018 Ryder Cup with his drive. I was walking with Golf Digest editor Max Adler at the 2013 U.S. Open when a Sergio Garcia's tee shot nailed him straight in the back.

But as fans see this video, here’s hoping they act a little more cautious in the future. If tour pros ask you to take a few more steps back, as Homa said he did before hitting this shot, don’t be afraid to listen.