April 24 (Reuters) – American Wyndham Clark earned bragging rights on Saturday as he risked a possible alligator encounter to secure a shot at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
Playing alongside South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen in the two-man team event, the 27-year-old removed his shoes and pulled up his trousers on the par-four 16 to salvage his ball from the bank of a lake where television pundits confirmed two alligators had been spotted during the third round alone.
“The first thing that went through my mind was snakes because I had to take my shoes off,” Clark told reporters at TPC Louisiana after the round.
“Then I was like, well, there’s alligators all over this golf course right now… it’s also one of the ponds where there’s big ones. I definitely thought about it.”
Despite the looming threat, Clark managed to shoot the ball out of the swamp and land it just a little over 14 feet from the hole, walking out of the water speckled with mud, before making par.
“I got in quick, and within probably 15 seconds of being in there I pulled the trigger just in case because I knew my partner was going to make par, and then I pulled off a great shot,” he added.
The pair carded a nine-under par 63 in the four-ball round three to rocket up the leaderboard, four strokes back from Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel (63) of South Africa.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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