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BRITISH OPEN

Billy Horschel assists police with ‘Just Stop Oil’ protestor during British Open. What happened?

As we’ve seen several times this year, climate change protestors are targeting major sporting events. Unfortunately, The 2023 British Open is no different.

Update:
As we’ve seen several times this year, climate change protestors are targeting major sporting events. Unfortunately, The 2023 British Open is no different.
LORRAINE OSULLIVANREUTERS

With climate change becoming an ever more contentious issue, activists and protestors are taking more extreme measures. As we saw recently with the staining of Nancy Walton Laurie’s multi-million dollar yacht, those in the fight against climate change are definitely willing to get their hands dirty.

Billy Horschel grabs protestor at British Open

Though organizers of this year’s British Open would certainly have known to expect some form of protests, it would have been difficult to avoid the situation which unfolded on Friday. During play on the 17th hole, several individuals wearing “Just Stop Oil” shirts ran onto the course and proceeded to scatter confetti across the green. Interestingly, while security was quick to react, credit must be given to golfer Billy Horschel who responded even quicker and actually managed to grab the protestor. Sadly, Horschel’s efforts in the day’s play itself weren’t enough to secure him a spot above the cutline. With an end result of 75 and six over, he probably won’t see Round 3.

‘Just Stop Oil’ won’t simply go away

Though the debris left by the protestor was quickly cleaned up, it’s worth noting that the conversation which has been forced into public consciousness recently won’t be going away so soon. Indeed, CEO of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A), Martin Slumbers disclosed before the tournament even stated that there had been a number of credible threats from ‘Just Stop Oil.’ If you didn’t know, the group actively seeks to force the British government to end its dependence on fossil fuels. You may recall similar protests at the recently concluded Wimbledon tournament.

As for what exactly was said by Slumbers, he noted that the threat was indeed very real, though he declined to give specific details. “Most people in this room don’t know that The Open was targeted last year,” Slumbers said on Wednesday. “A journalist that’s in this room...very kindly and responsibly informed us that one of the most senior players in the field was going to be targeted by an environmental activist. That’s all I really want to say.”

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