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Martin Slumbers golf ball roll back

‘The Open was targeted’: Slumbers reveals environmental activist threat

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.

just stop oil open

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Martin Slumbers: Just Stop Oil might have hit 150th Open

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.”

What do you think of the Open Just Stop Oil protests and what Martin Slumbers said about the threat at the 150th Open? Let me know on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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