Padraig Harrington sent his penultimate shot a dozen rows deep into a final hole grandstand and then chipped-in for birdie to be just three strokes from the lead after two rounds of the Omega European Masters.
Harrington thinned his 127-meter fairway bunker shot that flew a water hazard and then the green before striking a middle-aged woman on the elbow.
The Dubliner then took a free drop and holed his 10-foot wedge shot in a round of 65 for a seven under par tally.
Harrington then sought out the spectator to present her with a signed ball before heading to the scorer’s hut with his equal lowest score in 16 rounds of the Crans-sur-Sierre course.
“I guess it was a bonus thinning the shot right over the flag and into the grandstand as I was allowed to drop the ball from where I chipped-in,” he said.
“I guess too if there was no grandstand I would have been out-of-bounds for sure and it one of the times where the Rules of Golf help you out, so I made the most it.
“I know she was pleased to get a golf ball and I was pretty delighted to get the drop, and I didn’t kill anybody, so that’s so bad.
“I’m now only three behind so I’m now pretty delighted I made the trip up here after all these years to come back to the event but then I was pleased to come to Switzerland full stop.”
Harrington had arrived back to Switzerland for the first time since 2000 declaring he was competing just for the Ryder Cup points on offer.
Now the 42-year old is staring at becoming only the second Irishman to climb to the summit in the 90-year old event.
“I am now trying to win and if I do win then I get the bonuses of World Ranking and Ryder Cup points,” he said.
“It is always nice to have a few wins in a Ryder Cup year and three shots from the lead with two rounds to play is a reasonable position to be in.”
And 13-year old history-making Chinese amateur, Wo-cheng Ye crashed out with just one birdie over the two days for scores of 78 and 76 for a 12-over par score.