Golf enthusiasts are used to the term “snaking” being used to describe a curling putt. However, they may not be as familiar with the sight of a snake hanging from the end of a golf club.
On Saturday, during the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, Rickie Fowler was present to give a demonstration on safety.
During the third round of the PGA Tour event in Charlotte, Fowler’s tee shot on the seventh hole veered to the right and nearly landed in the water along the fairway.
While looking for his lost ball, the American golfer noticed a snake coiled among the rocks. North Carolina is home to various types of snakes, some of which live in the state’s waterways. Reactions to the PGA’s tweet were divided on the type of snake Fowler encountered, but it is believed to be a non-venomous northern watersnake, which is commonly found in North America.
Fowler carefully positioned his wedge and skillfully retrieved the snake from a crevice in the rocks before it could escape. This was a suitable partnership, as the 34-year-old has been working with Puma-Cobra for a long time.
@RickieFowler 🐍 pic.twitter.com/nJLwQhsE5J
— The official Twitter account for the Professional Golfers’ Association TOUR (@PGATOUR) on May 6, 2023.
He ended up taking a penalty drop, but was able to make par, recording a three-under 68. He then matched that score on Sunday, finishing tied for 14th place at eight-under overall, 11 shots behind the winner, Wyndham Clark.
He moves up three spots to become the 50th ranked player in the world, just in time for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill later this month. There, he will once again strive for his first major win, after coming in second place three times in the past.
Fowler is likely hoping to not experience the same unfortunate incident that happened to Richard Brand at last year’s tournament. During Brand’s second round, a squirrel unexpectedly ran onto the green, causing his ball to stop and roll around before quickly running off.
Unfortunately, Bland was not permitted to adjust his ball or redo his shot due to regulations set by the US Golf Association.
In recent years, golf has seen a number of animal encounters, including snakes and squirrels, as well as dogs, deer, and alligators, adding to the ongoing narrative of animals intersecting with the sport.