PGA Tour Pros Take Cover From Bee Swarm At The Mexico Open

Francesco Molinari and Erik van Rooyen duck for cover as huge swarm of bees attack at the Mexico Open

Erik van Rooyen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Players had to take evasive action at the Mexico Open on the PGA Tour, with Francisco Molinari, Erik van Rooyen and Chez Reavie having to hit the deck to avoid a swarm of bees.

Van Rooyen was sizing up his approach shot on the 10th hole at Vidanta when he quickly stooped and got on the ground, followed by his playing partners and even the TV cameramen.

Golf Channel announcers were originally at a loss to describe the action until it became clear that the buzz of a huge swarm of bees was heading in their direction.

All three players managed to par the hole after the unusual stoppage in play, with Van Rooyen going on to card a seven-under round of 64 to sit just one off the lead.

No doubt what was the most memorable moment of his round though, which thankfully didn’t result in anyone getting stung.

“I just saw them here and I just told my caddie, I'm like, ‘Bees, bees, bees,’ and he looks at me like I'm crazy,” said van Rooyen. “So, I dropped down, then he sees them, he dropped down.

“(Molinari) and (Reavie) look at me like I'm nuts and then they realized, like, 30 seconds later … the bees just went right at them. It's funny, but certainly don't want to get stung by those bad boys.”

The Golf Channel’s Billy Ray Brown even said that Molinari told him he considered diving into the water alongside the fairway to evade the bees.

Pablo Larrazabal took that very same action back in 2014 when he jumped into the lake at the Malaysian Open when stung about 20 times by hornets.

"Like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me, big time," Larrazabal said after his round. "Maybe the scariest moment of my career by far."

Luckily players escaped unharmed this time, although it was still a strange event for the television announcers, who commented that “It was like a fog of bees that flew through” and “I’ve never seen anything like that” as they tried to describe the action.

Players will now be on the lookout for bees as well as birdies during the second round, with nobody wanting to get stung on the fairways of Mexico.

For South African van Rooyen, the 2021 Barracuda Championship winner, it didn't stop him carding his lowest round on the PGA Tour since a 62 at The American Express in January. 

“I kind of did the same thing today, so everything clicked nicely,” van Rooyen added. “I feel like I’ve been trending the last couple months and things came together nicely today.

“It’s as good as it gets, I think.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.