There’s lots of references to birds in golf – Albatross, Eagles, Birdies – but not many to alligators.
However, there has been over the past couple of days.
Smylie Kaufman was wandering up the 16th fairway in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational (API) at Bay Hill in Florida when he suddenly realised that the dark mound beside the water was not the rocks that lay along the water, but in fact an alligator.
I’ll see you later, alligator…
On Twitter, @bljgolf shared a video of the pro suddenly reacting to the alligator’s presence and darting for safety, much to the amusement of the commentators.
His caddie, who was unaware until Kaufman flew past him, became startled too when he realised what was going on and followed in Smylie’s footsteps.
But, being scared of reptiles has been a common theme for Smylie in the past week, with Wayne Riley, a Sky Sports rep for golf, using rubber snakes to scare Kaufman and a host of PGA Tour players in the Snake Pit, Florida before the start of the Valspar Championship.
Kaufman is seen going into a water cooler and left jumping back when he finds a snake inside.
Luckily it was one of Riley’s well placed rubber serpents. He said in the Sky Sports video ‘it’s really not that funny,’ but it all seemed in jest.
You can see the brilliant reaction to the alligator in the video below.
Cody Gribble showed no fear
But, some were undeterred by the alligators, which were spotted several times at the Invitational course.
Cody Gribble, almost mirroring the casualness of Kaufman, saw one resting beside the fairway and instead of steering clear or arming himself with a club, he walked up behind it and tapped it on the tail.
Luckily, it scarped down the bank and disappeared under the water and didn’t leave Gribble like Carl Weathers in Happy Gilmore – poor Chubbs Peterson.
About the golf
The Invitational finishes on March 19 and currently Charley Hoffman, a rare appearance at the API after failing to make the cut in three of the past four tournaments at Bay Hill, leads at the hallway point with a 68-66 score.
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