Date: April 14, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Croc puts bite on Cairns golfer

It gives a whole new meaning to snap hook.

Queenslander John Lahiff was enjoying a good round at the Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course on Monday when attacked by a crocodile.

Lahiff is recovering this afternoon in the nearby Cairns Hospital after treatment for a deep laceration to his shin and puncture wounds to his calf.

But the 66-year-old holds no grudge against the 1.2m saltwater croc that nipped him, saying it was more his fault than the sun-tanning reptile that he accidentally stood on.

"I teed off (on the 11th hole) and pulled the shot left into the water trap," Lahiff told the ABC.

"I drove the cart around to retrieve the ball – and I didn't see the croc sunbaking just on the edge of the water.

“I just walked past the croc, picked the ball up, and he got me on the way back,’’ he told the Cairns Post.

“I jumped, of course … (but) he only took a snap and went back into the water.”

Lahiff, an avid golfer who plays three times a week, said the bite wouldn’t prevent him from teeing up again soon.

And he’s more worried about the croc’s future as wildlife officials try to trap it.

"I should have realised to be a bit more aware of it, of crocs being in there … but I just took it for granted," he said.

"I'll just stay away from them, that's all. Just don't hit the balls in the water.

"It's partly my fault … for disturbing it while it was sunbaking.

"I think he got more of a fright than me. He's all right."

The ABC reported that if captured, the crocodile would be taken to a zoo or crocodile farm.

A trap and warning signs have been set up at the hole where the man was bitten.

“He would have hung on a lot longer if he were fair dinkum, you would think,” Lahiff told the Cairns Post.

“But he just took a snap and took off. I reckon we should leave him there.”