By the time he noticed the disruption, Erik van Rooyen was lined up for his tee shot on the 17th hole at the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship — his knees slightly bent, his arms positioned for the start of his swing.
And then he saw a squirrel.
It appeared that the animal had neared his tee box, and as van Rooyen stepped back, the broadcast microphone captured him apologizing and saying, “Sorry. Squirrel.”
Though not a pivotal shot for van Rooyen, who hadn’t cracked 70 in each of his first three rounds, it wasn’t the only interruption due to a squirrel Sunday on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.
About 45 minutes later, the PGA Tour tweeted another clip of a squirrel running across the putting green as an unidentified golfer stood a few feet behind his ball.
“And there’s more,” one of the broadcasters said. “Or he’s run very quickly from 17 to 4, but that would be quite a move. So beware of the squirrels today at Innisbrook.”
After the squirrel was out of the way, van Rooyen finished with a bogey on the 17th hole.
As the Valspar Championship enters its final stretch Sunday afternoon, Adam Schenk took a one-stroke lead with a birdie on the 12th hole, while Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood both sat one shot back.
Taylor Moore was also near the top of the leaderboard at 8-under.
Sam Burns, who’d won the last two editions of the Valspar Championship, finished the event 5-under after shooting a 4-under, 67 to cap his weekend.
If Schenk maintained his advantage, it’d mark his first PGA Tour victory in his 165th event since joining the Tour in 2018.
He’d never concluded a tournament as a runner-up, either, and the best finish for Schenk came in October 2021, when he tied for third at the Shriners Children’s Open.
By: Ny Post