Golfer escapes after alligator attack

A Florida golfer got a lucky escape after he was grabbed by a 9-foot (2.7-meter) alligator as he went to recover his ball.

Albert Miller, 75, was set upon by the reptile at Lake Ashton Golf and Country Club in Lake Wales last week, The Ledger newspaper reported Monday.

Miller was playing golf with three friends when he hit a bad shot on the 15th hole and went to collect his ball from a pond.

As he turned to leave, the alligator launched itself out of the water and sank its teeth into Miller’s left knee. His friends rushed to his aid and clung on to his arms as the animal thrashed wildly and attempted to pull him into the water.

Miller said, "He let me go. I was three feet from my life. He had me submerged up to my belt buckle. That was my miracle of the month."

The senior citizen required 40 stitches to close a 10-inch (25 centimeter) cut and two other wounds.

He added, "He just filleted me. You could see into the bone."

Gary Morse, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said trappers captured the alligator. It weighed approximately 190 pounds (86 kilograms).

Investigators discovered another 6-foot (1.83-meter) alligator in the pond. They said the captured alligator was illegally fed.