Canberra: A Swedish golfer has claimed that she had to use a golf tee to extract venom from her leg after being bitten by a poisonous spider during a qualifying tournament in Canberra.
According to the Swedish Golf Federation, golfer Daniela Holmqvist said she saw a redback spider on her lower leg after experiencing a sharp pain above her left ankle, the Canberra Times reports.
Holmqvist, who reported the incident during the pre-qualifying tournament at the Federal Golf Club in Canberra, said that instead of immediate medical attention, she took out a golf tee from her bag, pierced her skin and removed as much venom as possible.
The redback, related to the black widow spider and so-called because of a red stripe on the back of its black abdomen, is common in Canberra and in other hot and dry areas of Australia.
Disapproving of Holmqvist’s actions, technical officer Kim Pullen said that her method of squeezing out the venom is not recommended as it may lead to the entry of other germs, and added that it is difficult to see the venom because of its microscopic quality.
Warning that redbacks can often be fatal, Pullen said that if a person is bitten by the spider then he/she should immediately go the hospital and apply an anti-venom. Sceptical over the incident, Pullen said that redbacks generally do not appear in putting greens as they tend to hide from sight.
However, insects experts with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation said that the bite could have been from a different, less poisonous spider or a small, less-mature redback. But after seeking professional advice and speaking with Holmqvist, tournament officials said the only treatment required was an ice pack.
Holmqvist finished the qualifying event for the ISPS Handa Australian Open in Canberra with a round of 74, just two shots shy of qualification.
First Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013, 13:14