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Birdies are great. Eagles, even better. An albatross, whoa!

But geese — well, they're apparently not to be messed with on the golf course.

A Michigan high-school golfer had an unfortunate — or, shall we say, fowl — run-in with a goose during a recent high-school tournament, and the photos, amazingly caught by a parent out shooting the match for fun, have gone viral.

Here's the story, as told by Blissfield golf coach Steve Babbitt, also the school's athletic director, to The Detroit News.

The match was this past Saturday, at Wolf Creek Golf Course in Adrian, in the Madison Tournament. Blissfield High School and Concord High School were among the varsity teams competing. Concord student Isaac Couling, 16, a sophomore, had just finished teeing off on the seventh hole and was walking down the fairway when the attack occurred.

"They were aware of a goose nest on their left, which they were looking at but not bothering," said Babbitt, "when from behind them and to the right came the guard goose (protecting the nest)."

In the series of photos, shot brilliantly by Devon Pitts, the parent of a Blissfield golfer, Couling is seen running away from the goose, then tumbling to the ground — his bag went flying — and finally lying, defenseless, as the goose had its way with him.

Pitts had just happened to stop at the seventh tee because there were two Blissfield golfers in that group.

"Yeah, but no one came to help," Couling, who said he ran and dived three times before shooing the goose away with his foot, told The News on Monday night, with a laugh. "All the coaches saw it from the clubhouse. You could see it from there.

"It's pretty crazy. All my friends were talking about it."

Couling said his golf coach, Lance Veydt, a geometry teacher at the high school, shared the photos with all his students during one class after another Monday, leading to lots of inquiries throughout the high-school hallways.

The story and photographs, which Pitts shared with The News on Monday, have flown around the Internet, even making headlines at PGA.com, among other national outlets. Couling said he didn't remember his final score for the round.

"But," he said, "I did par that hole."

Blissfield is located northwest of Toledo, Ohio, and Concord southwest of Jackson.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tonypaul1984

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