Christopher Chase, USA Today
An encounter at an LPGA pre-qualifying tournament gives new meaning to the concept of golf course hazards.
A rookie on the Ladies European Tour wasbitten by a spiderduring a round in Canberra, Australia, then dug out the venom with a spare golf tee and finished the round.
Let me repeat: She dug out the venom with a golf tee andfinished the round.
I've seen golfers call it quits on the turn because they ran out of bug spray.
Daniela Holmqvist, a rookie from Sweden, had just hit out of the rough on the fourth hole at a tournament in Australia when she felt a sharp stab above her ankle. She saw a small, black spider with that familiar red marking on its back scurry away.
Local caddies recognized the threat and mentioned that the spider's bite can be deadly for a child in less than an hour. Holmqvist decided not to wait. With the leg swelling and the pain intensifying, she found the first sharp object she could and dug out the venom.
"A clear fluid came out," she told Karin Klarström of Svensk Golf. "It wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever done, but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible."
Australia isn't home to the black widow spider, which is native to North America. A tournament official on Thursday told the Associated Press that Holmqvist was more than likely bitten by a redback, another species of widow spider known as the Latrodectus Hasselti. The Australian Museum said on its website that redback bites occur frequently in the summer months and 250 cases receive antivenom each year, with many others going unreported.
Holmqvist, who graduated from Cal last year, played the next 14 holes with a medic following. She shot a 74.
The 24-year-old said on Twitter that she's on a double-dose of antibiotics and is doing fine, though golf will have to take a temporary backseat. When she asked the doctor whether she could work out, the doctor responded with a "death stare."
This should decide it. If you play golf, never hit it in the rough again. And on the off-chance you do, just take a free drop in the middle of the fairway instead of digging around the fescue. If your playing partners balk, tell them it's a matter of life and death. And then write a 74 down on your scorecard to honor the heroic Ms. Holmqvist.