NEW ORLEANS – Justin Rose ignored the local alligator population and stripped down to his underwear to hit out of a water hazard at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday.
When the Olympic champion’s tee shot at the par-three third hole finished partly submerged at TPC Louisiana, Rose decided the ball was playable, and bared some skin in an attempt to blast it on to the green.
With partner Henrik Stenson jokingly sticking a hand towards the lens of the nearby TV camera to block the view, Rose shed his slacks, shoes and socks before taking his stance with his right foot in the water, and his left on dry land.
His recovery shot succeeded in finding the green.
Rose perhaps was inspired by Stenson, who nine years ago showed even more skin in a similar attempt to play from a water hazard at a World Golf Championships event at Doral in Florida.
Unlike Rose, Stenson even removed his shirt, leaving himself in just a pair of white underpants before taking his shot.
“My partner showed me what you’ve got to do,” Rose joked. “Remember Doral? He’s not scared of taking his pants off, so he said get in there.”
Rose and Stenson combined to shoot 7-under 65 in the first round of the team event on Thursday.
Rose was more adventurous than American Talor Gooch, who found three alligators nearby after his ball found a bunker at the 18th hole.
Two of the reptiles responded to a nudge from a rake and returned to the adjacent pond, but the third would not budge, which led to a ruling.
Gooch was allowed a free drop in the bunker, but his ball plugged.
He considered that a reasonable outcome under the circumstances. “I chose life over a good lie in that situation,” he told Golf Channel.