NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP/WFLA) – A Florida golfer made the shot of his life with a putter when he used it to escape an alligator that had grabbed him by the ankle.
Tony Aarts used his putter to jab the gator in the eyes before the alligator let him go.
Aarts was playing at the Magnolia Landing Golf & Country Club in the Fort Myers area last Wednesday when he heard a splash while approaching the fourth hole, according to WINK-TV.
He says the gator grabbed his right ankle and he ended up on his back before they both rolled into a water hazard.
“He was looking at me with his big eyes, and I kept hitting him,” Aarts said. “And I’m thinking I’m getting deeper and deeper, and I thought you’re not gonna get me.”
Aarts told the Fort Myers TV station that it took a chance of technique to finally free himself from the gator’s mouth.
“I started hitting him in the eye socket,” Aarts said. “I hit him three times and he let go of my foot, so I crawled back out and by that time the guys were there.”
State wildlife workers captured the gator and put it down.
Aarts was treated and released from a hospital.
According to data released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission in September 2016, alligator bites on people in the state of Florida has been tracked since 1948. Records show a total of 388 alligator bites in varying degrees of severity, including 24 fatalities.