Golfer Pablo Larrazabal jumps in water hazard to escape hornet attack
(CNN) – When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it’s best to take their advice.
For one golfer, it saved him from a world of hurt.
At first, Pablo Larrazabal thought nothing was out of the ordinary when he swatted an insect away from his face at a tournament in Malaysia on Friday.
The next thing he knew, he was being attacked by a swarm of hornets.
“They were three times the size of bees,” said the Spaniard. “They were huge and 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time.
“I didn’t know what to do. My caddy 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 in the lake.
“I ran to the lake, threw my scorecard down, took off my shoes and jumped in the water.
“It was the scariest moment of my career, for sure. I’ve never been so scared.”
Thankfully, after some treatment, the 30-year-old was able to continue — but only after ditching his bright orange shirt, which was still attracting the hornets.
Remarkably, he birdied the hole he was on when the attack occurred, then completed his second round in four-under-par 68, which meant he made the halfway cut of the European Tour event.
“The referees and a doctor took me aside and gave me a couple of injections and told me to relax,” Larrazabal said on the European Tour website.
“After the injections I felt a lot better and could continue. Without the help of the referees I couldn’t have finished the round, because I was in no state to play golf.
“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.”
Larrazabal, ranked 65th in the world, has won one tournament this year — at January’s Abu Dhabi Championship, where he beat major winners Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson by one shot to claim the $2.7 million first prize.
He will go into the weekend at the Malaysian Open tied for 25th place, trailing leader Lee Westwood by 11 shots.
The Englishman, a former world No. 1, followed up his opening 65 with a 66 to be four clear of European Ryder Cup teammate Nicolas Colsaerts.
The Belgian was tied for second with 327th-ranked Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines, who finished 90th in the Kuala Lumpur tournament last year.