Unless that ball was a Titleist Pro V 1 - or some other crazy expensive golf ball - the friggin gator can keep it!!!
Hell, I use Mojo balls, or whatever's 40 balls for $20 at Wal Mart!!!! Why by expensive balls when some of em are gonna end up in a muddy swamp, or 3 miles deep into the woods. I ain't got that kind of time, NOR the inclination to spend 20 minutes looking for it!!! I'll take the stroke and move on!