Reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas said "my life flashed before my eyes" after a false missile alert in Hawaii left Sony Open players running for cover.
There was widespread fear and panic in Hawaii on Saturday following the mistaken transmission of an alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile.
Those in the Aloha State received an emergency phone alert, which read: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT IMBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
However, it was a false alarm, with the error confirmed 38 minutes later.
American star and US PGA Championship winner Thomas, competing at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, provided an insight into the panic that overshadowed round three of the tournament.
To all that just received the warning along with me this morning... apparently it was a “mistake” hell of a mistake!! Haha glad to know we’ll all be safe https://t.co/sYmuVzymaQ— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) January 13, 2018
"I turned on the TV and didn't see anything," Thomas said. "I looked online and thought, 'It can't be real.'
"I put on some music, opening the sliding door, and figured there was nothing I can do about a missile. But right when it happened, everything flashes.
"It's the first time, I guess, you can say my life flashed before my eyes. It was a little dicey."
Thank God! pic.twitter.com/5wJOpHPf40— Sony Open in Hawaii (@SonyOpenHawaii) January 13, 2018
Thomas was also active on Twitter, writing: "To all that just received the warning along with me this morning... apparently it was a 'mistake' hell of a mistake!! Haha glad to know we'll all be safe."
Australia's Marc Leishman – a three-time PGA Tour winner – said: "It's an interesting feeling, isn't it? Something could happen in the next hour. It's a pretty big mistake.
"It sent some different thoughts through your head. A few extra hugs for the kids. It wasn't panic. It's not like you can see it coming and dodge it."
Charles Howell III added: "All the alarms went off at the same time. It got everyone's attention. I didn't know what to do. We all stared at each other. It kind of shows you the world we live in now. Your whole life can change in a second."
Many TOUR players, employees, family members and fans woke up to scary news this morning.https://t.co/xTn4ad8MRq— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 13, 2018
Following the initial push alert, John Peterson wrote via Twitter: "Under mattress in the bathtub with my wife, baby and in laws. Please lord let this bomb threat not be real."
It quickly turned to anger for Peterson following confirmation of the error: "Man. How do you press the wrong button like that. COME ON MAN."
In a basement under hotel. Barely any service. Can you send confirmed message over radio or tv https://t.co/qHLeQSecnd— JJ Spaun (@JJSpaun) January 13, 2018
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