Just Stop Oil strike at The Open as US golfer cheered for helping remove activist

21 July 2023, 13:04 | Updated: 21 July 2023, 15:02

A woman was escorted from the 17th field after attempting to disrupt the Open.
A woman was escorted from the 17th field after attempting to disrupt the Open. Picture: Twitter/Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

Just Stop Oil protesters have been escorted from the 17th hole of The Open after attempting to disrupt the golf championship.

The protesters were escorted off the 17th hole of the Royal Liverpool course by security on Friday after getting onto the course with orange powder and a smoke flare.

Posting online, the group said: "Three Just Stop Oil Supporters have disrupted The British Open - they demand that the UK government halts all new oil and gas projects."

Seven-time US PGA tour winner Billy Horschel was cheered as he passed one of the protesters over to police at the event.

Her and another man were handcuffed and escorted off by police.

Police later confirmed that two men and two women had been arrested.

Read more: 'Am I complicit in a Holocaust?' asks Tom Swarbrick, as Just Stop Oil compares oil and gas giants to Nazis

Read more: 'Just Stop P*****g people off!': Counter-protesters surround eco-mob to stop their latest slow march stunt

It comes after the eco-activists launched one of its biggest slow march protests on Friday morning, as some 160 activists marched across London in groups of 16, the group said.

Golfers due to compete at The Open were sent letters ahead of the event warning them not to tackle the protesters if they tried to disrupt the event.

John Rahm issued a warning to the eco-activists earlier this week not to “catch me on a bad hole” in anticipation of the 151st Open.

The group said three disrupted the event.
The group said three disrupted the event. Picture: Getty
Golfers were reportedly told not to tackle any protesters if they disrupted the event.
Golfers were reportedly told not to tackle any protesters if they disrupted the event. Picture: Getty

The activists have disrupted a number of sporting events in the recent months, including the World Snooker championship.

The group identified two of the protesters at The Open as Noah Crane, 18, and Hailey Birch, 19.

“I’m disrupting the open today, not because I want to, but as a young person, I feel I have no other choice,” Mr Crane said.

“This government is knowingly taking action that will kill hundreds of millions of people and destroy my future."

Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A which hosts the Open, said ahead of the event on Wednesday: "We work clearly with the law enforcement agencies and we’ll wait and see what happens.

"You will have seen that we advised the players, ‘Please don’t get involved’ and I stand by that. We have enough things in place to be able to deal with it. Beyond that, I think security matters I need to keep confidential.”

Earlier this week, a group of counter protesters surrounded the eco-group during their slow march protest as they attempted to bring their marches to a halt.

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