On this day, In 1966 Gary Player & Jack Nicklaus Are Swarmed By Bee’s; Abandon Golf Hole in South Africa


The Bee’s & $50,000 Six-Match golfing Challenge Series

On this day, In 1966 Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus played the 1st round of a six-match challenge series held at Zwartskops Country Club.  With both golf stars turning in three under par 69’sthe 1965 U.S. Open and Masters champions, respectively, had to seek first aid after they were attacked by a swarm of angry bees on the eighth tee.

Both were stung on the face and arms. At least five spectators in the crowd of about 8.000 were stung &  were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Nicklaus was stung on the forehead, and a woman spectator announced: “I’ve got just the remedy.” She promptly slapped a handful of mud on the sting. Nicklaus w alked around with a glob of mud between his eyes for about 10 minutes, muttering: “Lady, you sure this will work?” and “Biggest mosquitoes I’ve seen outside of Texas.”

The bees, apparently disturbed by the gallery, boiled out of a tree and angrily descended on players and spectators moments after Player had teed off on the eighth. Player and Nicklaus wisely decided to abandon the hole and agreed to card it as a par 4.

Player was two strokes ahead at the time, and gained another stroke with a birdie on the ninth. It rocked along that way until Nicklaus mounted a brilliant charge over the last three holes, closing with a birdie, eagle, birdie and making up three strokes.   Jack’s troubles didn’t end there either.  In his autobiography penned “My Story” he had said that the head of his driver had cracked right now the middle before the event even started.

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