All Albert Miller, 75, of Lake Wales, FL wanted last week was to retrieve his ball from an irrigation pond near the 15th hole at Lake Ashton Golf and Country Club. He found two balls that didn’t belong to him, turned to head back to the course when a 9 foot long, 190 lb decided to retrieve HIM from the land and return him to the pond. (“This isn’t my geezer golfer! I was playing a 68-year-old New Yorker!”)
The gator started pulling Miller into the water–and also certain death–when other members of his foursome arrived to help. Here’s more on the story from the Lakeland Ledger:
“He lifted me up three feet and slammed me down,” Miller said. Price ran over and grabbed Miller under his shoulders while the animal was thrashing and pulling. The other two golfers in the foursome ran over to help. Miller said the animal took one look at him and clamped down harder. “It was excruciating to say the least,” Miller said.
As the animal started dragging Miller into the water, Miller prayed for a miracle. He got one. “He let me go,” Miller said. “I was three feet from my life. He had me submerged up to my belt buckle. That was my miracle of the month.” The man-made pond has a sharp drop-off just two to three feet from the bank, Miller said. Any further, and the animal could have pulled him under water.
Price said the alligator “stayed right there,” waiting in the water just off shore. “If a person had been there by himself, it’s safe to say that he would have been dragged into the water,” Price said. Miller’s leg was a “mess,” Price said. They wrapped his knee in a towel, drove the golf cart over to him, and drove to the front gate to meet an ambulance. In the emergency room at Winter Haven Hospital, Miller had to have 35 to 40 stitches to close a 10-inch lance wound, and two other 5-inch wounds. “He just filleted me,” he said. “You could see into the bone.”