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Billy Horschel helps collar protester

Just Stop Oil protesters are led away by police and security, during the second day of the British Open Golf Championships at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, Friday, July 21, 2023. (Richard Sellers/PA via AP)

Organizers at the British Open were expecting protests, and on Friday morning, they arrived. Protestors wearing “Just Stop Oil” shirts ran onto the course, scattering confetti on the 17th hole. But security forces quickly halted the protest … with a little help from player Billy Horschel.

Horschel would go on to par the hole and finish the day with a 75, leaving him at six over and likely missing the cut.

The protesters’ debris was swiftly cleaned up by grounds crew bearing leaf blowers:

(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

R&A CEO Martin Slumbers noted before the tournament began that there had been credible threats about protests from Just Stop Oil, a group seeking to force the British government to end dependence on fossil fuels. The group has made appearances at other British sporting events such as Wimbledon.

“Most people in this room don’t know that The Open was targeted last year,” Slumbers said at his Wednesday press conference. “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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