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Larrazabal reflects on hornet attack: I could have died

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Pablo Larrazabal is defending this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, but he’s already dreading a tournament in three weeks’ time. 

That’s when he’ll return to the Maybank Malaysian Open – the event where he was forced to jump into a lake to escape an attack from a swarm of hornets. 

In all, he was stung more than 20 times behind his head and neck, and he told reporters Tuesday in Abu Dhabi that he’s lucky to be alive. 

“If I didn’t have a hat, I would be dead,” he said (via Golf, By Tour Miss). “If I would be allergic, I would be dead. You know, it was unlucky, but I was very, very lucky to be here.”


Apparently, Larrazabal has studied up on hornet attacks. He knows now that when hornets feel scared, they spray a chemical called pheromone, which attracts other hornets. Thus, the swarm.

“So this little thing,” he explained, “sprayed the pheromone on my hat, and I was quite lucky there.”

Video of the attack, and ensuing plunge into the pond, went viral. The clip now has nearly three million hits on YouTube. 

“I was like Beyonce of the world,” Larrazabal said. “It was a world record, in a week, 2.4 million hits in one week on YouTube. I don’t know if Lady Gaga or some strange thing like that had that much in one week. 

“It’s sad to go around the world and the people to you, ‘Oh, that’s the hornets guy.’”