HOYLAKE, England – He backed off twice, glared at the offenders and even offered a curt, “Come on, guys.” But then Tiger Woods is used to dealing with shutterbugs.
The problem for Woods on Thursday at the Open Championship was that he was trying to navigate the last 230 yards of Royal Liverpool’s demanding closing hole and fans amassed in an adjacent skybox were intent on snapping a few photos.
“Unfortunately people just don't put their phones on silent or some of the professional guys were getting on the trigger a little early,” said Woods, who opened with a 69 at Hoylake and was tied for eighth place.
Woods was forced to back off his second shot at the 18th hole twice because of the ubiquitous camera phone chatter and said it was a familiar theme throughout the day.
Still, Woods said Thursday at Hoylake wasn’t the worst he’s had to endure at tournament and he has accepted that it is going to happen.
“I've had numerous years of dealing with this. There's a lot of moving parts out there,” he said. “You've just got to stay focused and plod my way around.”
The R&A allowed cellphones on the grounds at the Open in 2012 and has encouraged the use of mobile devices by installing free wireless networks in the grandstands at Royal Liverpool.
“There are many fans here who are experiencing the Open for the first time this week,” said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, the R&A’s executive director of championships. “We urge them and all our spectators to keep their phones on silent and remind them that taking photographs on championship days is not permitted.”