Saturday, June 02, 2012

click, click, be very quiet, I'm hunting wabbit

The following is an update from the PGA Tour yesterday. I'll add no commentary, but I will ask that you take about 8 minutes to watch the attached video. Which, by way, upon today's review reminded just how cool the whole sequence of events was back in 1988.

"There was still a lot of buzz about Phil Mickelson's withdrawal after shooting a 79 in Thursday's first round. His playing partners, Watson and Rickie Fowler, both contended that part of the reason Mickelson pulled out was because of the continual distraction of fans clicking their cellphone cameras during Mickelson's swings.

The PGA Tour permits fans to bring cellphones onto the course, but they must be silent or on vibrate and can only be used to make or take calls in specified areas.

"We created an atmosphere for fans to use their phones and when we get these marquee groups together, that many people want to take photos," Tom Strong, in charge of tournament standards for the tour, said Friday. "We did have a setback with how it worked. We got together (Memorial Tournament executive director) Dan Sullivan, the marshal team and we beefed it up today."
Police said about 50 phones were confiscated from the Watson-Fowler group.

Marshals frequently cautioned the galleries following Tiger Woods to silence their phones and not take pictures. Security guards who walk the ropes with Woods also warned spectators who were poised to snap photos as Woods passed.

"We'll be more aggressive with taking phones away," Strong said.

After Thursday's opening round, Watson was clearly angry about the cellphone use.

"Ever since they made that rule that cellphones are allowed, it's just not fun playing," he said. "They made that rule, more and more people have been using their cellphones to take pictures. ... It's sad. It's sad that cellphones can make or break a championship."

Fowler said things were vastly improved Friday."

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