The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 3, 2013

Golfer out of hospital after snake bite

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid High golfer Scott Phillips was aware Broken Arrow’s Emerald Falls course was known for its hazards.

He just didn’t figure venomous water moccasin would be one of them.

Phillips was released from a Tulsa hospital Wednesday after he was bitten by the snake during the second round of the regional golf tournament Monday.

Phillips was looking for his ball on the No. 1 hole (his 11th hole on the day) in the high, native grass. He took a step with his right foot and “felt four distinct punctures’’ through his skin.

“I thought it was a thornbush,’’ Phillips said. “I brushed it off because it didn’t look like anything serious. I took a step with my left foot and looked down and the snake was corralled around my left calf.’’

He said he “calmly’’ bent down, grabbed the snake’s head and threw it as far as he could.

He finished the hole with a bogey. One of the fathers watching took him back to the clubhouse for treatment.

“It never crossed my mind that the snake could be venomous,’’ Phillips said. “I have picked up plenty of snakes before. I have never dealt with a venomous one.’’

He took about five minutes to look at his leg and “get my thoughts together,’’ before finishing the hole.

Phillips shot an 84 in the morning round and was in contention to qualify for state as an individual. He wanted to finish the round, but started to feel sick once he got in the clubhouse.

“I realized then that I should forget about the golf season and worry about my health,’’ he said.

He said it took about 21⁄2 hours before he started to show symptoms of a venomous bite.

“A little bit of the venom got into my blood,’’ he said. “I started hyperventilating. I was getting some redness moving up my legs and swelling. Thankfully, the doctors at the hospital knew what to do.’’

He was taken to the intensive care unit where an anti-venom was administered to his system.

Several players and coaches, including those from Bixby, Jenks and other schools called or visited Phillips in the hospital.

“I always had a strong stomach when it came to snakes,’’ he said. “I’ve dealt with a lot of non-venomous snakes. I’ve gotten a little weak stomach, though, when I’ve seen a picture of them. It’s a little bit hard for me to look at them.’’

Phillips, a senior, said he had never seen a snake on a golf course before.

He said he is feeling better and is looking forward to returning to the golf course.

“As soon as my leg allows it, I’m going to hit a few balls,’’ he said. “We’ll see how it goes once I get mobility back. When the weather warms up, I’ll be out there.’’