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GOLFING STAR HIT BY TREE IN PINNER GOLF CLUB

 Published on: 13th May 2014   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

A talented young golfer is lucky to be alive after a 150-year-old oak tree fell on him at Pinner Hill Golf Club. Kumar Starkie-Gupta, 18, who lives in Stanmore and attends Stanmore College, suffered an injury to his back when the incident took place just before 9am on Sunday, May 11. Kumar was with his friend Michael Griffiths, 17, at the first tee when high winds uprooted the tree. Michael, who lives in Pinner and is studying for his A-Levels at Queens’ School, Bushey, said: “We were down at the first tee waiting for the group in front of us to move on so we could have our turn. “I heard a crack and turned my head and saw this thing coming down. I just started sprinting as fast as I could. We were at the competition tee, which is raised so I jumped down and landed on my right leg. At that moment I turned my head and expected to see my friend Kumar right behind me, but he wasn’t there.” A panicked Michael began shouting his friend’s name. He said: “Thankfully I heard his voice so I knew he was alive. But I couldn’t see him.” Michael searched for Kumar and found him in amongst the debris of the fallen tree. “A foot to the left of where he was, was the trunk of the tree. A foot to the right was this massive branch. It was so close.” Michael and other golfers on the course helped Kumar to his feet. Ambulance services also arrived at the scene. Kumar was taken to Northwick Park Hospital with a suspected cracked spine. At the time of going to press he was still in hospital receiving treatment. Michael and Kumar have been friends for several years. Both are rising golf stars and play together in the Middlesex under 18 county squad. Michael, who previously attended Nower Hill High and hopes to win a place at an American university, said: “He is a good friend and a good laugh. He is very laid back and easy to get along with and a really good golfer.” The pair had planned to play together in a tournament later this month, but it remains to be seen if Kumar will be fit enough to compete. Michael said: “It just by total chance that we were on that particular part of the course at that particular time. Usually that slot is reserved for the club captain. After the incident the groups before and after us, who were both older, said they didn’t think they would have been able to move as quickly. It is just one of those things.” by Bronwyn Bidwell  

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