As if there weren’t enough hazards already at Pebble Beach between the thick fescue lining the bunkers, 100-foot cliffs and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean beyond them, Tiger Woods and Co. can add one more for good measure — only this one runs, leaps and has large antlers.
While Woods was putting on the fourth hole during a practice round Monday ahead of this week’s U.S. Open, a deer cantered out of the forest near the fifth tee. The animal got spooked when onlookers moved, darted between the ocean and the fourth green, leaped through a bunker and took off down the fairway as Woods contemplated his shot.
About 30 minutes later, the same buck appeared near Rickie Fowler’s group on the 15th hole, racing about the fairway for half a minute as the 30-year-old’s group worked on the green nearby.
Woods is set to tee off Thursday at 5:09 p.m. ET, along with Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth, at a course he’s found success at in the past — deer or no deer — with a 15-stroke victory 19 years ago in the same tournament.
Tiger arrived at Pebble on Sunday and played a relaxed 18 holes, getting himself reacquainted with the green complexes that to his eyes were smaller than ever.