Pablo Larrazabal had to jump into a water hazard after a swarm of hornets attacked him during the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. He was fully-clothed when he jumped in. – Bernama Photo
KUALA LUMPUR: Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal is one courageous golfer. Attacked by a swarm of hornets during the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open, he jumped fully-clothed into a water hazard adjacent to the 14th green while playing the par-five fifth hole.
Stung, he required treatment. He was then given time off to calm down.
Although he was obviously still in pain, he gallantly resumed playing. And, amazingly he birdied the hole on his way to eventually finish with a four-under 68 to make the cut at two-under 142 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Friday.
The 30-year-old European Tour player later described it as the scariest moment of his golfing career.
“I hit my tee shot just right of the bunker and chipped it out quite well. As I was walking along, I suddenly felt something on my nose. I swatted it away and suddenly ... they were not bees, they were three times the size of a bee,” he recalled.
“They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time.
“I didn’t know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump into the lake.
“So I ran to the lake, threw my scorecard down, took off my shoes and jumped into the lake.
“It was the scariest moment of my career, for sure. I've never been so scared.
“I had to throw my shirt and hat away, and the towel I’d been swatting them with.
“The referees took me aside and a doctor gave me a couple of injections and told me to relax.
“After the injections I felt a lot better and could continue. Without the help of the referees I could not have finished the round because I was in no state to play.”
Asked if he will have any apprehensions when approaching the fifth hole again on Saturday, Larrazabal replied: “Yeah it looks like I will be playing the weekend ... so, tomorrow it will be very, very scary to play that hole.
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do but, hopefully, I will play it as quickly as I can.”