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Florida Golfer Fights Off Alligator with Putter

An American Alligator rests on a rock at the alligator lagoon at Everglades Alligator Farm in Homestead, Florida, on June 24, 2016. 
Florida, famed for its turquoise beaches, is almost as well known for its alligators. Humans are not their favorite meal, but one would not know that from the recent series of alarming gator attacks on people. / AFP / RHONA WISE / TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Leila MACOR, 'Encounters between gators, humans on rise in Florida'        (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
RHONA WISE/Getty Images
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2017

A Florida golfer survived an alligator attack Wednesday thanks to some quick thinking, as he used his putter to fight off the massive reptile.

According to WINK News, Tony Aarts escaped the harrowing incident at Magnolia Landing Golf & Country Club in North Fort Myers, Florida, by clubbing the gator in the eye after it latched on to his right ankle.

Aarts rolled into a water hazard after getting grabbed by the alligator and described the sequence of events that followed:

I remember having a club in my hand, and as soon as he had me in the water up to my waist, I started hitting him over the head. ... He was looking at me with his big eyes, and I kept hitting him. And I'm thinking I'm getting deeper and deeper, and I thought you're not gonna get me. ... I started hitting him in the eye socket. I hit him three times and he let go of my foot, so I crawled back out and by that time the guys were there.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers captured and put the gator down after Aarts escaped.

According to figures released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in September 2016, 388 alligator bites on people have been recorded since 1948, with 24 of them being fatal.

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