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Gator Snatches Golf Ball in Mid-Air During Tournament, Spares Player a Hazard Penalty

For good reason, many golf courses in Florida warn players to steer clear of alligators that may be lurking in the midst, and to avoid provoking them...

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For good reason, many golf courses in Florida warn players to steer clear of alligators that may be lurking in the midst. As luck would have it though, a player hitting the links in Bonita Springs this past weekend owes a bit of gratitude to one particular razor-toothed reptile there, after it snatched a ball that was headed into the water in mid-air and spared her from a hazard penalty.

During a couples tournament at the Bonita National Golf Club on Saturday, Joanne Sadowsky went to tee off at the second hole, when she shanked the ball to the right, sending it almost certainly into one of the course's lakes. But in a surreal moment reminiscent of that Happy Gilmore scene, the ball headed directly toward an alligator lurking on the edge of the water, and it caught the light pink ball in mid-air, according to the Naples Daily News. She may have technically lost the ball, but because it was an outside interference, she didn't get penalized for whacking her shot into the water.

“It saved me from a hazard penalty," Sadowsky told the News in an interview, providing them with a photo of the ball in the gator's mouth. 

With the ball in the gator's mouth, she earned a free drop of the ball. However, that stroke of luck wasn't enough for her and her husband to win the tournament. Then again, we all know the meddling alligator was the true winner anyway. 

h/tCBSLocal


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.