American pro golfer Cody Gribble is showing that nothing – not even an alligator – will get in his way out there on the course.
The PGA Tour rookie was caught on video Thursday casually walking up to an alligator before slapping its tail, sending the reptile scurrying into a pond. Gribble later scored a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole where the creature had been taking up residence.
"I've done it a couple times before," the 26-year-old quipped to the media after his first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. "I wasn't too worried about it at the time. Those guys, I mean, it's like a jolt, it's quick, they're not going to catch you, they're not going to catch you a couple of steps down.”
Gribble said he's had gators turn on him, but they haven't caught him yet.
And for those who have never had the experience, Gribble said the skin of a gator is "incredibly clean."
"The gator looked like he needed some exercise," Gribble added after opening with a score of 77, five over par. "But he was sitting right there in the way and, you know, I guess I was trying to get some adrenaline going somehow. But I wasn't really afraid of it."
Past PGA golfers who have tried to boot alligators off the course didn’t have immediate success like Gribble.
In 2014, John Peterson used a rake from a sand trap to prod an alligator guarding his ball during a tournament in New Orleans. But the stubborn gator took its time to retreat into the water.