Black Widow Bites Golfer, Who Saves Own Life with Tee, in Australia

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 05:05 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Swedish golfer Daniela Holmqvist was playing in a pre-qualifier for the Women's Australian Open in Australia on Tuesday when she was bitten by a black widow spider, causing a sharp pain to advance across her leg.

The young golf pro, a rookie in this year's Ladies European Tour, saw the spider crawl away after she felt the pain, which rapidly became more intense. Caddies immediately identified the arachnid. 

"When I told the local caddies in my group what had happened, they got very upset and said it was a Black Widow, and immediately started looking for their phones to call the medics," Holmqvist told Swedish Golf publication Svensk Golf.

After realizing the spider's neurotoxin venom is particularly harmful to humans and can kill a child in less than 30 minutes, she knew she needed to act quickly.

She took a golf tee from her pocket, "the only thing I had handy" she said, and cut open her leg to squeeze out the venom before it could spread inside her body.

"A clear fluid came out. It wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever done, but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible," Holmqvist told Svensk Golf.

After medics determined she was OK to continue playing, despite swelling in her leg and severe pain, she finished the remaining 14 holes.

Unfortunately for Holmqvist, she did not qualify for the Women's Australian Open, after shooting 74.

Later that evening, in an interview with Svensk Golf, she said, "It still hurts . . . I don't recommend getting bitten by a Black Widow."

The black widow spider is known for its sexual cannibalism, as female spiders kill and eat their male counterparts after mating. The spider is most commonly identified by a red hourglass on top of its abdomen. The species can be found throughout the United States, most commonly inside logs or underneath rocks.

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