It could have been a dangerous moment for professional golfer Cody Gribble when he encountered an alligator Thursday on a PGA Tour course in Bay Hill, Florida.
The PGA Tour pro, who hails from Dallas, walked up on an 8-foot alligator baking in the sun near the water's edge on the sixth hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Where other men may have avoided the gator, or at the very least ignored it, Gribble took a different approach.
He casually detoured toward the alligator and pushed the reptile by the tail back into the water.
Gribble told Golf Week that he hoped it might improve his game that day.
"Gator looked like he needed some exercise, I don’t know," he said. "He was sitting right there in the way, and I guess I was struggling today, I wanted to get some adrenaline going somehow."
It wasn't the first time Gribble had been that close to an alligator before either, he said. But he didn't seem too worried about the alligator being able to catch him. In fact, he said he's had an alligator turn toward him before, but they hadn't gotten close enough to do any damage.
“It’s probably frowned upon but I wasn’t too worried about it at the time,” Gribble said. “It’s like a jolt, it’s quick, you know, they’re not going to catch you a couple steps down.”
Gribble finished the day with a 5-over 77 after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Alligators attacking humans is a rare occurrence, happening on average around a dozen times a year. Tampa Bay Times reported in 2011 that only 20 attacks in the last 40 years have been fatal.