Pablo Larrazabal Admits He Could Have Died From Hornet Attack.

Defending champion Pablo Larrazabal began the New Year with a sobering thought confessing he could have died following a hornet attack during last year’s Maybank Malaysian Open title.

The affable Spanish golfer, who is defending this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, was stung 20 times on the back of the neck in Kuala Lumpur.

“It was Bhullar’s caddie who saved me a lot of pain, so I have thanked him all year long last year because if he doesn’t tell me about ‑‑ that I had to jump in the lake,” he said.

“If I had not have my cap on I could have been stung about 60 time on my head or whatever, a lot.  I would be probably hurt big time.

“So, you know, that guy saved me a lot of pain.  If not, I cannot say he saved my life, but probably would be close.”

Incredibly, there has been more than 2.9 million hits on ‘you tube’ while there had been some 1.5 million in just the first week, and with footage (below) showing the Barcelona golfer escaping the marauding insects by jumping into a water hazard.

The Callaway staff player spoke of the incident today in Abu Dhabi and revealing for a first time the seriousness of the incident.

“I was on the fifth green and unlucky to be in the middle of, you know, the flight of one of them,” he said.

“You know, the bad thing of those hornets is that if they feel scared, they spray you a pheromone that they attract the other ones.  So this little thing, sprayed the pheromone on my hat, and was quite lucky there.

“I had only a piece of my ‑‑ the pheromones just touched my head behind here, and they sting 20 times, 20‑something times on my head just back here.  If I didn’t have a hat, I would be dead.  If I would be allergic, I would be dead.  You know, it was unlucky, but I was very, very lucky to be here.”

And while Larrazabal did capture a third Tour title a year ago here in the UAE capital it was video footage of the incident that he continues to be remembered.

“There was almost 3 million ‘you tube’ hits in 15 days or ten days,” he said.

“I was like Beyonce of the world, I don’t know, 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 that go around the world and the people point you, oh, that’s the hornets guy.  But it’s like it is.  Some people, you know, Henrik Stenson got famous because he played a shot in underwear and then become the No. 1 in the world, so hopefully in three or four years, it changes things.”

And there was a further bizarre twist to the tale with Larrazabal revealing he had been approached a insect repellent firm anxious to sign him to a sponsorship.

“The next day they called me up from, you know, those sprays for bees, the sprays, to sponsor me,” he said seriously.

“And you see, I don’t have any sponsors, so ‑‑ but I’m not going to put a hornet.  It will be very weird.  But, yeah, I almost put a head cover for the people to recognise me.  But yeah, that story was very tough story.

“I will be back to Malaysia in three weeks and it will be tough to play that hole again for five times.  But hopefully they know me in Malaysia.”


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