Birdie, Eagle, Gator? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/21/05

Birdie, Eagle, Gator?

Play through? What do you do when an alligator interrupts your game? Play through? What do you do when an alligator interrupts your game?

Golf is famous for tall tales, not long tails: like the kind that grow on alligators.

A Hilton Head Island golfer says it's the strangest golf shot of his life, and it had him and his friends laughing after a bizarre par three.

Harold Parris says someone stole his golf ball. He can even point out the culprit.

"That looks like him." says Parris. "He's a pretty good size."

For the record, Parris is talking about an alligator.

"I hit the ball and came down here and I said 'oh my god, I done lost another ball,'" explains Parris.

He says he wasn't prepared for what he found when he went to make sure: an alligator sunning itself in the fairway, "And the ball was on top of the gator's tail back here."

The alligator didn't even flinch, and Parris quickly weighed his options.

"I didn't do nothing," laughs the 80-something duffer. "I dropped another ball over there and kept on playing."

Parris says he didn't even stick around to see what happened; he just played through, and left his ball resting on the gator's tail. He doesn't even hold a grudge.

United States Golf Association rules address such a bizarre occurrence, and Parris was not penalized a stroke for his drop.

A neighbor snapped a picture of the gator with the ball on his tail, but Parris hasn't gotten a copy of that yet; he's only seen the version that ran in the local newspaper.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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