A Just Stop Oil protester is led away by police and security near the 17th hole during the second day of the British Open Golf Championships at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, Friday, July 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Environmental activists briefly interrupted play at the British Open on Friday by throwing orange powder beside the 17th green at Royal Liverpool, prompting American player Billy Horschel to intervene.

Police and security guards quickly took action to keep the Just Stop Oil protesters from causing a bigger disruption during the second round. Play resumed not long after the protesters were removed.

Horschel was playing the hole at the time and helped a greenside marshal lead one of the protesters away. The other players at the 17th were Corey Conners and Alex Noren. They were marking their balls and getting ready to hit their second shots when the disruption started. All three players made par on the hole.

The affected area was cleaned up before the next group hit their tee shots.

“They mentioned it to us when we were on 15, 16-ish,” said Zach Johnson, who was playing two groups behind. “They said there might be a slight delay. I couldn’t quite understand what they were saying, but they just said there might be a delay on 17.”

Just Stop Oil wants the British government to stop new oil, gas and coal projects. It has interrupted a slew of major sporting events in Britain, including Wimbledon, an Ashes cricket test and the world snooker championship.

The protesters entered from each side of the elevated green that sits with the Irish Sea in the background. One of them had a flare, police said.

Two protesters were immediately taken away from the green, while two others were escorted away separately.

Local police said in a statement that two men and two women were detained “on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage and public nuisance.”

British Open organizers said before the tournament they were aware of the possibility of protesters trying to disrupt the Open and had “significant security procedures in place.” They advised players not to get involved.

The 17th hole attracted most of the attention ahead of the Open after being redesigned to add drama to the tournament. It is listed at only 136 yards but its elevated green challenges players with steep slopes and deep bunkers.

Before the protest, Australian Travis Smyth aced the hole with a high 9-iron tee shot that bounced twice before going into the cup.

The British Open started on Thursday and is scheduled to finish on Sunday.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2023. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0054 SIMSA Energy Forum
    0054 SIMSA Energy Forum
  • 0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda
    0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0043 ALX ten sizes
    0043 ALX ten sizes
  • 0039 Summit ESP Saskatchewan lower third
    0039 Summit ESP Saskatchewan lower third
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002