Golf fans are accustomed to hearing a curling putt described as a “snake.” What they are less familiar with, however, is the sight of a snake hanging from the end of a club.
At the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow on Saturday, Rickie Fowler was on hand to safely demonstrate.
Fowler was on the par-five seventh hole of his third round at the PGA Tour event in Charlotte when his tee shot headed toward the waters along the fairway.
While searching for his ball, the American spotted a snake among some rocks. North Carolina is home to a range of snake species, many of which inhabit the waters of the Tar Heel State. PGA Commentary Twitter post I was on the fence about what species of snake Fowler handled, but it is believed to be a northern water snake, a non-venomous species native to North America.
Tilting his corner, Fowler gently hooked the snake to pull it out of a hole in the rocks before it slipped out. The fact that the 34-year-old is a long-time partner of Puma-Cobra makes it a fitting collaboration.
He ultimately took a penalty but managed to salvage par, shooting a three-under 68 before repeating the score on Sunday to finish tied for 14th at eight under overall, 11 shots behind champion Wyndham Clark.
That moves him up three places to 50th in the world ahead of the PGA Championship later at Oak Hill this month, where he will once again aim for a first career major after three second-place finishes.
Fowler hopes to avoid the fate that befell Richard Brand at last year’s event. The English golfer’s second round was derailed when a squirrel rushed onto the green to stop his ball and roll it before running away.
To rub salt into the wounds, Bland was not allowed to move his ball or replay his shot under US Golf Association rules.
Snakes and squirrels continued golf’s ever-growing history of animal run-ins, with dogs, deer and alligators all writing chapters in recent years.