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‘Mongoose attack’: English golfer Tommy Fleetwood falls victim to animal course invaders in South Africa (VIDEO)

‘Mongoose attack’: English golfer Tommy Fleetwood falls victim to animal course invaders in South Africa (VIDEO)
English golfer Tommy Fleetwood’s attempt to win his first tournament of the year has been hampered by a pair of mongooses who ambushed his ball on the green on the first day of play at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.

The world number 18 watched his shot clear water and land in a promising position on the 14th fairway at the tournament in South Africa, only for the grizzly pitch invaders to nudge his ball across the grass.

Watching the bemused duo send his shot back towards the tee before scuttling off, the 28-year-old Englishman, who finished the day with a three under par 69, posted footage and a plea for help.

Fleetwood asked his audience of more than 163,000 followers: “Anyone know the rule for a mongoose attack on your golf ball? Got to love Sun City!”

Home hopeful Louis Oosthuizen, who led the field and ended six shots ahead of Fleetwood, overcame even greater adversity to set a score only one shy of the course record, held by defending champion Lee Westwood.

Oosthuizen had been in hospital in the build-up to the start of play with kidney stones, but the 2010 Open champion was determined to play at a popular course where he recorded one of his first career victories.

The 37-year-old had spoken doubtfully about his chances of competing in the early hours of Thursday morning, but bravely recovered in time for the 10.28am local time tee.

He admitted his treatment had been “very uncomfortable,” adding that “it sort of eased in.”

“By 6, 7 o'clock in the morning it started getting a lot better,” he said.

“This morning was just a little niggly but I went up to the range, hit a few shots and it didn't really bother me. It was more the walking fast that got it, so I just slowed everything down and it worked nicely."

The tournament continues until Sunday.

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