DUBLIN, Ohio – Phil Mickelson did not make many Kodak moments in his first and only round at the Memorial Tournament on Thursday, instead deciding to withdraw from the tournament after a 79, perhaps fueled by a barrage of fans snapping pictures of him with their mobile devices.
On Friday, Tiger Woods did leave the galleries with plenty to remember, however. The 14-time major winner and his grouping with Fred Couples and Bill Haas were the beneficiary of beefed-up enforcement of the PGA Tour mobile device policy.
Two holes into their round, marshals had snagged 20 mobile devices from fans trying to take pictures of Woods, Couples and Haas. There were no warnings. If you pulled out your phone, it was as good as confiscated.
By the time the trio had made it to the fifth green, the volunteers had collectively run out of claim tags - the piece of paper given to unruly fans as a reminder of where they can reclaim their digital livelihood after play.
Weaponless, the marshals could only admonish the offenders.
'No cameras! No pictures!'
Without ammunition, the crowds were left to be shooed away after they got their shot. A new wave of claim checks arrived for the volunteers at the green of the par-5 seventh. The exchange of technology for antiquated paper resumed.
Walking up the 17th hole, a pair of volunteers estimated they had snatched well over 100 devices from following the 2:55 p.m. tee time alone. Some were so brazen, or ignorant, volunteers even had to take a few standalone cameras from tournament patrons.
The clear show of force was a stark comparison from Thursday, when a lone Ohio State fan was singled out by a tournament marshal for wielding a camera phone in plain view.
Clearly, Mickelson's passive-aggressive withdrawal had an immediate impact. It even carried over to his Thursday playing partners, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler, who both soldiered on without the left-hander on Friday.
The remaining pair were treated to more strict enforcement of the Tour's mobile device policy, as well. Approximately 50 phones were confiscated from the Golf Boys' group. Fewer groupies were able to snap pictures.
The problem will remain because it is almost impossible to police uniformly. For the hundreds of mobile devices exchanged to tournament marshals for claim checks, dozens of others were simply warned or not caught at all.
Many of those who got away with it will be back tomorrow to play paparazzi. So will the marshals.