- Associated Press - Friday, March 13, 2015

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) - Charley Hoffman played short of the water hazard, then nearly walked into the path of a 10-foot alligator on the fairway.

The alligator ambled across the third fairway at Innisbrook Friday during the second round of the Valspar Championship.

Hoffman, John Senden and Woody Austin wisely decided to wait until the gator finished his journey from one swamp to the next.

“Rarely do they walk in the middle of the fairway and halt play,” Hoffman said. “We weren’t going anywhere fast. And neither was he.”

Hoffman said he has seen the gator before - it’s hard to forget one that size.

He recalls playing in the pro-am about six years ago when one of the amateurs talked about grabbing gators by the tail. Hoffman said he pointed to the gator and offered his amateur $100 to pick it up by the tail.

“Not touch it, but pick it up by the tail,” Hoffman said. “He walked over there and picked it up by the tail. It was slightly smaller, but it was huge then. And I gave the guy $100.”

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