Blimp Crashes Outside US Open Golf Tournament Near Milwaukee

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Johnson rebounded in 2016 by taking the U.S. Open at Oakmont, which is about as different a course as possible from Erin Hills.

A blimp has crashed near Wisconsin's Erin Hills Golf Course Thursday during the Round 1 of the U.S. Open.

Advertising company AirSign was operating the blimp, but the airship was not affiliated with the golf event or broadcaster Fox Sports, the U.S. Golf Association, the tournament operator, said.

Starting from the 10th tee, Fowler showed why he was among the pre-tournament favourites, returning a polished bogey-free effort that matched the lowest first round score in relation to par at a U.S. Open. It appears the pilot parachuted out.

After missing the cut at Memorial earlier this month, Johnson headed to Erin Hills last week to play a practice round on the 7,741-yard par-72 course.

With the last six majors producing six first-time winners and fitness concerns hanging over some of golf's biggest names, there is an air of uncertainty whistling through the knee high fescue at this year's U.S. Open. It allowed him to spend two days in Wisconsin getting to know the longest course in U.S. Open history, realizing that he would be a late arrival to Erin Hills because of some important family matters.

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Officials later said the fire was intentionally set by the driver, who was angry at losing overtime wages. One witness, a local businessman, reported that around 5:00 pm (0900 GMT) he heard a "bang".

A witness said the blimp caught fire and crashed.

The USGA statement says the pilot is being treated for unknown injuries and that no other people were involved.

The blimp, operated by Florida-based AirSign, was used for advertising as it floated above the golf tournament and had been airborne for several hours before it went down, authorities said.

According to the Washington County Sheriff's Department, the initial investigation revealed the blimp may have experienced mechanical problems prior to the crash.

"I couldn't really do much else, I was laying on the couch", he said.

"Although Kaymer is a player that is very hit and miss at the majors, the former world no1 has the capability to cause an upset at this year's tournament".