R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers revealed an environmental activist had planned to target a senior player at St Andrews
An environmental activist planned to target “one of the most senior players in the field” at the 150th Open at St Andrews.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers revealed the threat when asked about the chances of this year’s event at Hoylake being disrupted by Just Stop Oil protestors.
Speaking at his annual press conference ahead of the final major of the year, Slumbers was asked whether the governing body had received any indication it could be disrupted by the demonstrators.
Just Stop Oil have hit a series of high profile sports this summer – including Wimbledon, the men’s Ashes and the World Snooker Championship.
Slumbers said: “I will answer your question but I’m going to be very cautious, and I’ll explain why. We’ve had no direct intelligence. I think you’re aware that there was direct intelligence last year, and most people in this room don’t know that The Open was targeted last year.
“We have significant security procedures in place. 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, and I hope you understand that, but I assure there’s enough sentiment in what I just spoke for your question.”
Asked later to elaborate on what happened last year at St Andrews, Slumbers continued: “We had a very creditable threat that came through – that was reported to us through a journalist in this room, who 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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