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SBD/June 4, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Cell Phone Usage At PGA Tour Event Takes Toll On Golfers, Tourney Officials
Published June 4, 2012
CELL PHONE FATIGUE: In N.Y., Karen Crouse wrote Mickelson “quietly seethed about the clicking cellphones," but withdrew from the event citing mental fatigue. Golfer Rickie Fowler on Friday said of the cell phone situation, “The tournament did a great job today. We had a few guys out there following us kind of managing the situation. I really didn’t hear very many today. They were on top of it, and the tour and the tournament did a great job with that.” He added, “Yesterday it was probably one of the worst I’ve seen, but obviously, at every tournament, cellphones have been around, so it wasn’t something new that just happened this week” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/2). GOLF WORLD MONDAY’s Geoff Shackelford writes with all due respect to Nicklaus, “Fan behavior improved markedly once marshals and security officials began confiscating the phones of blatant users.” But it was “a day too late” for golfer Bubba Watson. Watson Thursday said, “Ever since they made that rule that cell phones are allowed, it’s just not fun playing” (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 6/4).
WEIGHING IN: Golf Channel’s Jay Townsend said of allowing spectators to use cell phones, “It's a great rule. Welcome to the 21st Century.” Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard: “The Tour did this to try to bring people out to the tournament. … They were hoping that people would learn, ‘Look, don't take pictures when guys are swinging, go to the designated areas.’ We're two years into this experiment now. It's not going to happen. It's turned on the Tour and now it's gotten ugly." Hoggard: "Fifty phones were confiscated, that’s ridiculous. Now you’re trying to get people to the tournament. Now, you’ve alienated them. Now they're mad because you took their phone!” Townsend said of Watson complaining about the cell phones, “Bubba, you're making millions, man. What do you mean it's not fun playing? Come on. Get over it. If you look at the practice tee and you're on the practice tee all the time talking to guys. … Unfortunately for guys like Bubba, the marquee players that are playing in front of the largest galleries, it’s more of a problem” (“Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 6/2).