With just a couple of holes left at the AIG Women’s Open, play was paused on the 17th hole when “Money Rebellion” oil protesters streaked on to the green with red and yellow plumes of smoke. At least one man and one woman were eventually arrested and the round continued, but second-place finisher Charley Hull certainly had some thoughts on the ordeal.
“What a bunch of idiots,” Hull told The Telegraph. “I suffer from asthma, but didn’t have my inhaler on me and that stuff was really thick, so no it was not nice. I wasn’t scared when it happened, just thought they were idiots. Someone said they are protesting about oil, but how did they get here today? Drove probably.”
“Get off you clown!” 🤡
Just Stop Oil protester storms 17th green at AIG Women’s Open 🙃 pic.twitter.com/rrwYopUt1x
— Andy Roberts (@AndyRobertsGolf) August 13, 2023
Hull didn’t blame the protest for her runner-up finish, however, she was impacted by the incident at the Walton Heath Old Course and stated that it was difficult to breathe with the smoke lingering in the air. Her caddie chimed in as well.
“There were about three of them, I think, but it was ineffective,” said looper Adam Woodward. “The police were quick and they were gone within 60 seconds. Charley took the smoke into her lungs and it wasn’t pleasant for her. Thank God their pathetic actions didn’t affect the result.”
American Lilia Vu separated herself from the pack, besting Hull by six shots, so the interruption didn’t do much more than irritate. “Lilia played unbelievable, really, and I just don’t feel like I got a break to be fair,” Hull said.
The R&A released a statement as well, after the Women’s Open, applauding the police for their due diligence: “Protesters were quickly apprehended on the 17th green during the final group and five arrests were made by the police. We would like to thank the police and marshals for their vigilance and the players and spectators for their understanding.”
Just last month, Just Stop Oil created a similar disruption at the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. That interruption also occurred on the 17th hole but during the second round at Hoylake.