THE BIRDIES AND THE BEES AND THE LARRAZABAL
Spanish golfer Pablo Larrazabal has something to tell you: “Golf is not a sport for wimps!” Pablo tells us this after being stung twenty times Friday by hornets during the Maybank Malaysian Open, a European Open event held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
On the “Golf is not a sport for wimps” statement, no, you’re not getting tackled by 250 pound linebackers. And, no, your head doesn’t bounce off the hardwood after being sideswiped by a power forward and no, a bucking bull doesn’t send you into the rails and also, unlike everyone in hockey, you get to keep most of your teeth. BUT, unlike those other supposedly more manly sports, you’re in a game which brings nature into your field of play. Sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t like sharing. Sometimes Mother Nature can be bitchy and will punish you for modifying her landscape.
“These things were three times the size of bees,” Pablo tells us, after they started stinging him on the fifth hole he was playing. “I was walking along and I felt something on my nose. 30 to 40 of them started to attack me. I’ve never been so scared. My caddy says run and I start running like a crazy guy.”
Larrazabal takes a swan dive off the elevated green and into the lake. He gets out, drenched, does that Putin thing, like Europeans are want to do, takes off his shirt, towels off and the officials give him shots and then ask him as he’s starting to swell up if he wants to finish the hole. He says yes, not only does he want to finish the hole, which he birdies, he wants to finish the round and qualify for the weekend.
See, again, what Pablo says. Golf is not for wimps. After being stung by creatures the size of Volkswagens he still shoots a 68. He qualifies, then goes to his room and tries to sleep but hardly gets any. Still, he finishes the tournament with rounds of 70 and 67 for 8th place. That’s a hero, ladies and gentlemen. Pablo is not a bad golfer, having won $6.3 mil on the tour including three wins and a first place at the Abu Dhabi HSBC beating Mickelson and Mcllroy.
“They told me to throw away my hat, my shirt and the towel I was swatting them with,” says Pablo. “When I get to this hole tomorrow, I won’t wear any aftershave, won’t wear a brightly colored shirt and I’ll play the hole quickly, very quickly.”
The British headline writers who follow the European Tour, of course, have had a field day. We’ve collected a few:
“Unwanted Buzz at Malaysian Open”
“After Being Stung by a Bee, Floats like Butterfly”
“Pablo Tells Hornets to Bee Have”
“Caddie: ‘Go Jump in Lake’”
All we’re saying is next time your spouse says he or she is going golfing, make sure they’re dressed for it. Don’t be like me when I played at the Okeene Rattlesnake Hunt Open in my shorts, short socks and low cut shoes and then found a group of rattlesnake hunters crossing the fairway right in front of me wearing knee high boots, leather pants and gunny sacks. As Pablo says “Golf is not for wimps.”