-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
What is it with golf and alligators? You never hear about a gator attacking, say, a basketball player, but it seems every spring we get a story or two about golfers and gators coming together, and not for a friendly round. Just weeks after we had the infamous battle of Caddie vs. Gator, won by the caddie, the gators very nearly had their revenge.
The scene: Florida (of course). Albert Miller, a 75-year-old golfer, was playing the Lake Ashton Golf & Country Club in Lake Wales. And, as golfers are wont to do, he put a shot into shallow water at the 15th hole. He ambled over to the pond, spotted his ball, reached in to grab it and suddenly HOLY CRAP THERE'S A GATOR LEAPING OUT OF THE WATER AND BITING ME! (Not a direct quote.)
The gator chomped down on Miller's left knee and tried to drag him into the water. Miller's playing partners held on to his arms, though apparently none pulled an Elin Woods and took a golf club to the gator's skull. Still, good news: "He let me go," Miller said. "I was three feet from my life. He had me submerged up to my belt buckle. That was my miracle of the month."
Think about that for a second. One moment, you're standing at the edge of an idyllic pond; the next, you're instants away from being gator food. Never know what the day's going to bring, do you?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured the alligator, which was nine-feet long (!) and weighed an estimated 190 pounds. Miller required 40 stitches to close the cuts in his knee, and faces a long and painful rehabilitation. But at least he's around to schedule his next round.
So, yeah, next time somebody says golf's not a contact sport, invite them to play a few holes along a Florida waterway.
(Photo for illustration purposes only. That is presumably not the gator involved in this story. Presumably.)
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