Errant Shot Results in Snake Bite

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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- When Roy Williamson hit a tee shot off the fairway, the lie turned out to be rougher than he thought.

Williamson, 60, was bitten in the head by a rattlesnake when he went to retrieve his ball from some wetlands.
 
'I saw my ball pretty much in plain view,' Williamson said Thursday, a week after the encounter. 'Unfortunately, it was being tended to by a rattlesnake that I didn't see.'
 
He said he picked up the ball and felt something scratch at his right temple as he stood up, slapping at what he thought was a briar. He saw blood, then the rattler -- 'a good 6 1/2 or 7 feet long.'
 
The men Williamson was playing with -- his son, brother and brother-in-law -- came running in response to his screams. He remembers reaching the clubhouse, but the next thing he knew, it was three days later.
 
Doctors determined that the snake bit him twice, and the venom quickly spread throughout his body.
 
Alan Cale, general manager of Henderson Golf Club, said his employees roped off the area and posted warning signs. Professional snake handlers were called to assist in rounding up any snakes at the course.
 
'It's an unfortunate accident, but on a golf course -- out in nature -- you're going to have wildlife,' Cale said.
 
Williamson said he will play golf again but will be much more careful.
 
'If I go out now and hit a ball off of the fairway in any fashion or form, I will not go after it,' he said.
 
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