Pablo Larrazábal was shaken but not seriously hurt after he was attacked by a swarm of travelling hornets on the fifth hole during the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The Spaniard was walking along the fairway when he swatted an insect off his nose, but doing so caused many more to swarm around him, stinging his face and head.
When attempts to brush them off and run away failed, he resorted to jumping into a water hazard to escape. Treatment from the on-site doctor and referees followed, and fortunately he was able to continue playing – remarkably he even birdied the hole he was playing at the time of the incident.
“They were three times the size of bees,” said Larrazábal “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 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.”
The 30 year old went to put his shirt back on, but the hornets returned so he played the last five holes in a top borrowed from the tournament organisers.
“The referees and a doctor took me aside and gave me a couple of injections and told me to relax,” he continued. “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.”
Larrazábal added: “It looks like I’ll 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.”