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Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Alligator stops play

The world's best golfers are used to coming under attack from a Tiger - but this could be the first time an alligator has hampered their chances.

An alligator invades the playing surface in New Orleans
"Does that count as an immovable hazard?"

First-round play at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans was halted when the large reptile invaded the fairway.

Credit must go to Davis Love III, a man so calm that his first move was to take a photo of the beast on his mobile.

But under golf's rules, Love could be in more trouble than the 'gator - aren't phones banned on the fairways?

Still, the players should be grateful for small mercies. The pitch-invader was a mere slip of a crocodilian compared to the 5.8m-long monster found in Marsh Island in the same state a few years back.

And would Love have been so keen to stick around if he had known that fatal attacks from alligators in the US are on the up - from a mere nine between 1970 and 2000 to 11 in the five years between 2001 and 2006 alone?

see also
Snake bursts after gobbling gator
05 Oct 05 |  Americas
Reggie the gator in LA comeback
01 May 07 |  Americas
Feed children to alligator claim
29 Jan 07 |  Northamptonshire

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