ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Cody Gribble gave new meaning to a risky play on the par-5 sixth hole over water at Bay Hill on Thursday.
Not with a club, but with his hand.
And it didn’t involve an eagle, rather an 8-foot alligator.
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Gribble, already 4-over par for his round, was walking along the edge of the lake when he saw the gator sunning himself on the bank. Instead of walking around it, the Texan reached over and swatted its tail his left hand.
Startled, the gator took off for the water.
”The gator looked like he needed some exercise,” Gribble said after opening with a 77. ”But he was sitting right there in the way and, you know, I guess I was trying to get some adrenaline going somehow. But I wasn’t really afraid of it.”
It might not have been the safest play, though Gribble said he has done that before. Gators are quick, but at least this one was facing the water and didn’t see him coming.
”They’re not going to catch you a couple of steps down,” Gribble said. ”They’re going to get you really quick early, but if I’m not in its way – I’m right behind him – it’s not going to happen.”
Gribble said he’s had gators turn on him, but they haven’t caught him yet.
And for those who have never had the experience, Gribble said the skin of a gator is ”incredibly clean.”