Ernie Els: The rubber snake wouldn’t work at Merion today

Two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els doesn’t think that Lee Trevino’s trick in 1971 would work at the 2013 U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club this week.

Els is referencing one of the strangest and most memorable moments in U.S. Open and Merion Golf Club history. Before Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino began an 18-hole playoff in 1971, Trevino wielded a rubber snake on the No. 1 tee.

The Battle of Merion, as Sports Illustrated’s Dan Jenkins once called it, was one of the most hilarious, thrilling and memorable moments of U.S. Open history.

Els told USA Today that he would not be a fan of the prank due to his own dislike of snakes. He also pointed out that it likely wouldn’t be a good idea to pull such a trick today. Els was asked what he thought would happen tossed a rubber snake at someone else as Trevino once did, at this year’s Open.

“Imagine, there would be snipers coming out of the trees,” Els responded, “There would be an investigation on that–somebody might get shot.”

Els noted that the amount of security at Merion Golf Club makes it hard to get around quickly, so the golfer does not think someone will be mimicking Trevino this week.

 

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