ORLANDO, Fla. — Kyoung-Hoon Lee never saw any of this coming.
Not the oncoming car that smashed into the passenger side (where he was sitting) of the PGA Tour courtesy car his wife was driving Wednesday morning.
And not getting into the field of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he was the first alternate and didn’t expect to get into the field … until defending champion Francesco Molinari withdrew early Thursday morning with a back injury.
Lee, taking Molinari’s place, played alongside Rory McIlroy, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, and Justin Rose and he posted an even-par 72.
The South Korean golfer was in the passenger seat when he and his wife were involved in the accident on their way to the course to practice. He said his wife was making a left-hand turn and an oncoming vehicle smashed into them.
“When I saw the car coming, I was scared, like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ ’’ Lee said after his round through an interpreter. “It was like the whole thing was kind of in slow motion.”
On Thursday, he came to the course at 6:30 a.m. with scant hopes of someone withdrawing, but Molinari did just that.
“I felt sore in the morning, but after I got the tee time, I couldn’t feel it,” Lee said.
Lee said his wife, who usually walks with him during his rounds, opted to stay home Thursday.
“She feels sore and is in a little bit of pain,” he said.