You may not have heard golfer Cody Gribble’s name before.
At 26-years-old, Gribble is a rookie on the PGA Tour. Having played with Jordan Spieth at the University of Texas, his path has been much more hectic and stressful than his former teammate, but he earned his way to Tour with a lot of hard work.
In the midst of a tough five-over 77 first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday, Gribble went viral for an exceptional play. But here’s the kicker: it had nothing to do with golf.
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Heading up the left side of the sixth fairway at Bay Hill, he saw an alligator hanging out next to the water lining the hole.
Instead of simply avoiding the beast by walking around it, Gribble did the unthinkable.
“The gator looked like he needed some exercise,” Gribble told the Golf Channel after the round. “I guess I was trying to get some adrenaline going somehow, but I wasn’t really afraid of it.”
Gribble, who grew up in Dallas, Texas explained that he was very familiar with gators and knew how to deal with them properly. Judging by his confident approach on the wild animal, it was safe to assume that he had some exposure to them before.
“I wasn’t too worried about it at the time,” he said. “I mean, it’s like a jolt. It’s quick. They’re not going to catch you, they’re not going to catch you a couple steps down.”
When asked if he ever had a close call, he responded, “Yeah,” he said. “But it hasn’t got me. They’re quick, but they’re not that quick.”
If only there was video evidence of that account.
Of course no golf story involving a gator would be complete without pointing to the famous scene from Happy Gilmore.
What a classic scene from a classic movie.
Overall, it was nice to see Gribble have some fun despite his below-average round. Next time he sees a gator on the course, expect him to act in a similar fashion. He has to hope that the gator cooperates next time in a similar fashion so that he doesn't have to make an escape sprint away.
Until then, he should stay focused on getting the ball in the hole. As seen with many PGA Tour rookies in the past, time with the big boys should be cherished, as the opportunity can come and go in an instant.
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