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Alligator causes (unofficial) seven-minute delay at Zurich Classic

2 Min Read



    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    Competitive golf often includes rain delays, and sometimes there are wind delays. Enter the alligator delay.

    During Thursday’s opening round at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, an alligator crossed roughly 3 feet in front of the tee box at the par-3 17th hole at TPC Louisiana, requiring the group of Paul Barjon/Sam Stevens and Jhonattan Vegas/Bronson Burgoon to wait seven minutes for the gator to pass.

    Stevens, 27, was readying to hit his tee shot at No. 17 when it appeared the gator would rest on the rope line for a minute, but he was called off by his caddie when the gator got up and started walking again. The group arrived on the tee at 11:38 a.m. local time and teed off at 11:45 a.m. (The tournament was not officially delayed.)

    Undeterred, the Barjon/Stevens duo finished par-birdie to post 9-under 63, just two back of the early lead at the TOUR’s lone two-man team event. Vegas/Burgoon closed in par-par for a 7-under 65. (The Zurich Classic utilizes a Four-ball format on Thursday and Saturday, with a Foursomes format on Friday and Sunday).

    "The gator was a bit unusual," Barjon texted PGATOUR.COM afterward. "It wasn’t really getting close to anyone but moved very slowly and we had to probably wait five minutes or a bit more. It was pretty cool."

    Alligators and the Zurich Classic have long been intertwined. A gator named Tripod once traversed the TPC Louisiana grounds, allegedly as early as 2004 and for nearly two decades, making for captivating social media fodder through the years.

    Thursday’s spotted alligator (yet to be named) has four legs, in contrast to the three-legged Tripod.

    “That particular critter has four legs. For a long time, a legendary alligator which was named Tripod was here; he has three legs, as you might imagine,” remarked a PGA TOUR LIVE broadcaster during the gator crossing. “There is another three-legged alligator that has been spotted around the course recently, but he is missing his front left leg. Tripod was missing his front right leg.”

    Assume this won’t be the last gator crossing at TPC Louisiana.

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