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6 climate protesters arrested at PGA Tour event — group then blames lightning striking a tree on climate change
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

6 climate protesters arrested at PGA Tour event — group then blames lightning striking a tree on climate change

The activists said golf fans should 'understand' climate change initiatives.

A number of environmental activists were arrested following a disruptive protest at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Protesters waved smoke bombs and left white and red residue on the putting green before golfers such as Scottie Sheffler and Tom Kim finished their rounds.

Protesters from climate alarmist group Extinction Rebellion took credit for the incident, boasting on social media and claiming, "No golf on a dead planet."

"We just disrupted the #TravelersChampionship to remind everyone that there is #NoGolfOnADeadPlanet. Act now!" the group wrote. The activists at the golf tournament also wore white T-shirts with the same messaging in black letters.

Protesters were apprehended and taken away by police officers with each of the suspects charged. Charges were laid for first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree criminal trespass, and breach of peace, according to ESPN. The alleged criminals were released after posting $5,000 bonds and will reportedly appear in court on July 1, 2024.

''I was scared for my life ... I didn't even really know what was happening.'

The protest group reportedly provided a statement to the Associated Press and cited a lightning strike that hit a tree the previous day as a reason for urgent climate-related policy change.

"This was of course due to increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather conditions. Golf, more than other events, is heavily reliant on good weather. Golf fans should therefore understand better than most the need for strong, immediate climate action," the group said.

Confusingly, while encouraging golf enthusiasts to share their viewpoint in order to create better weather conditions for golf, the group simultaneously condemned the existence of the sport.

"Golf is an environmental disaster–reckless water use, carbon-intensive fertilizers, woodland destruction–but before we can delve into that issue, we must agree on the fundamental reality of climate catastrophe that's taking place every moment of every day, all around us," the activists wrote the same day on X.

World no. 1 golfer Scheffler said that he felt the police and course officials "got it taken care of pretty dang fast."

"When something like that happens, you don't really know what's happening, so it can kind of rattle you a little bit. That can be a stressful situation, and you would hate for the tournament to end on something weird happening because of a situation like that. I felt like Tom [Kim] and I both tried to calm each other down so we could give it our best shot there on 18," Scheffler added.

Fellow golfer Askhay Bhatia said he felt scared and confused during the incident.

"I was scared for my life ... I didn't even really know what was happening ... but thankfully, the cops were there and kept us safe, because that's, you know, that's just weird stuff," Bhatia added, after finishing tied for fifth.

In a press release, Extinction Rebellion cited golfer Rory McIlroy for saying that he "takes climate change seriously."

McIlroy said in 2021 that he had a "massive sense of guilt" after flying home on a private jet from China.

The PGA Tour thanked the Cromwell Police Department for their "quick and decisive action" at the tournament and noted that there was no damage to the green on the 18th hole.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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