Posted April 29, 2014 11:44 am

Road to The Players: John Peterson, alligator hunter

Watch out Mr. Alligator. John Peterson is coming to town.

If John Peterson hasn't gotten a call from Animal Planet yet, they're nuts.

This guy is not only a PGA Tour rookie and the star of last year's Tour Playoffs, but he's a reality show waiting to happen.

To catch you up, Peterson was playing in the Zurich Classic last week at the TPC Louisiana. In the second round, playing partner James Driscoll hit his ball between a fairway bunker and the edge of a pond, with the ball coming to rest inches away from the snout of a larger alligator who was sunning itself on the bank.

If you've seen the video, you know what happened next. While Driscoll was waiting for the gator to move, Peterson grabbed a rake from Driscoll's caddie and shoved the gator with it several times from behind until he scurried into the water.

Peterson, one of four LSU students in his family, obviously is familiar enough with gators to believe he could get away with it and still keep both arms, or crazy enough. But if you check his profile on, you see that he's pure Louisiana sportsman, including videos of him skeet shooting and demonstrating how to boil crawfish.

Peterson qualified for next week's Players Championship through an exemption for the leading earner on the inaugural Tour playoffs in 2013. Everyone knows the TPC Sawgrass has a few gators, especially in the water surrounding the 17th green. If gators get too big, the club calls in an alligator trapper, who takes the beast away.

I'd just call John Peterson from here on out.

And I think he can handle our Florida alligators. Louisiana has the largest gator population in the South, according to this source, with 2 million. Florida is estimated to have about 1.25 million. According to several sources, the largest gator ever captured in America was in Louisiana, a 19-foot, 2-incher, weighing more than 2,000 pounds.

Here's the final Road to The Players. Watch out for large reptiles.

Last week: Seung-yul Noh won the Zurich Classic, qualifying him for The Players.

High area player: Bud Cauley of Jacksonville shot 66-68 in the middle rounds and tied for 11th at 12-under. It was his best finish since a third in the Wyndham Championship on Aug. 19, 2012, a span of 38 starts.

This week: Wells Fargo Championship, Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

Players trivia: Name the last time a Players Championship winner also won a major in the same season.


Players Championship Facebook page

Follow Players Championship on Twitter

Notable: Two more pros can get into The Players field this week, the winner at Quail Hollow, if not otherwise qualified, or J.B. Holmes, if he makes the cut and finishes 63rd or better to get the eight FedEx Cup points he needs to qualify under a medical exemption.

Days until The Players first round: 10.

Tour events until the Players: 1.

Trivia answer: Tiger Woods in 2001. He won the Masters two weeks after winning The Players.