Woman Killed By Alligator Near PGA Tour Stop

A woman was killed Monday morning by an alligator just minutes from Harbour Town Golf Links, host of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage, while walking her dog in the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Catherine Cline, 45, attempted to intervene when her border collie’s leash was grabbed by an alligator who had emerged from a golf course lagoon. The gator pulled both Cline and the dog into the water. A maintenance worker nearby saw the struggle and ran to Cline’s aid, but was too late.

“She was walking the dog near the lagoon and the alligator came out of the water and tried to get the dog,” South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Regional spokesman David Lucas said. “The lady tried to rescue the dog and a maintenance worker ran over to help.”

Both were trying to save the dog when the alligator turned on Cline and drug her into the water, Lucas said.

“The alligator grabbed the leash instead of the dog,” South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Regional Coordinator Sam Chappelear said, according to The Island Packet. “There was some sort of tug-of-war with her trying to get the dog back via the leash, and in turn, the alligator drug her and the dog into the water.”

When Hilton Head Fire Rescue arrived on the scene, the gator was circling the body in the lagoon, according to Lucas. First responders lassoed the gator with a rope and the animal was later euthanized.

Alligator attacks on humans are very rare, Lucas said. Cline’s death was only the second attack in South Carolina on record since 1976. 

Sea Pines Resort boasts three world-renowned golf courses: Heron Point designed by Pete Dye, Atlantic Dunes designed by Davis Love III and Harbour Town Golf Links, which was designed by Dye with help from Jack Nicklaus and hosts the PGA Tour annually the week after the Masters.