Site Logo Site Logo

Chaotic Protests Disrupt Finishing Moments of Travelers Championship

Chaotic Protests Disrupt Finishing Moments of Travelers Championship

Read more: 2024 Travelers Championship Preview: Surprising Picks From Golf Model That Has Called 13 Majors


CROMWELL, CT - The final round of the Travelers Championship was thrown into chaos Sunday after a group of climate protesters stormed the 18th green during a crucial moment of the tournament.


Scottie Scheffler held a one-shot lead over Tom Kim as the final pairing approached the 18th hole. Scheffler was lining up a long birdie putt that could have sealed the victory, while Kim had a short putt for birdie to potentially force a playoff.


Without warning, five members of the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion rushed onto the green from the surrounding gallery. They sprinkled paint and powder on the putting surface near the hole locations. The scene sent players and spectators into a panic.


Climate protesters disrupt Travelers Championship on No. 18 green of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 23, 2024 in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Seth Wenig/AP


"I was scared for my life. I didn't even really know what was happening," said third round playing partner Akshay Bhatia. "I was in shock and my heart rate was high. It got low and then once that kind of happened I was just freaked out, I just tried get over where everyone was."


Protesters run onto the course as Scottie Scheffler walks away on the 18th hole.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig


“It kind of took like the meaning of the putt kind of a way for a second,” Kim said. “Because like for the past 17 and a half holes all you’re thinking about is golf, and suddenly when that happens you’re just like, your mind goes into a complete, like, you’re almost not even playing golf anymore, like people are, security guards — like I thought it was a dream for a second.”


Play was suspended momentarily as Cromwell police raced to apprehend the protesters. All five intruders were led away in handcuffs while continuing to chant slogans about the climate crisis.


Protesters are taken into custody after they ran onto the course.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig



Once order was restored, officials and greenkeeping crews worked to clean the green as best they could. However, some residue remained on the turf near the holes. Under rules officials, Bhatia was given relief from the debris and moved his ball to finish his round.


With a new hole location cut to avoid the stained area, Scheffler and Kim went back out for a playoff. Despite the disruption, Scheffler was able to maintain his composure, making par to clinch his sixth win of the season in the playoff.


“Who prepares for someone, for four people to run with — I don’t know what they had, but they left a lot of marks on the greens, which is not right for us players, especially when two guys are trying to win a golf tournament,” Kim said. “But I’m very grateful for the Tour and the Tour security for handling that really well and making us players feel a lot safer.”


The incident cast a chaotic shadow over what should have been a moment of dramatic golf. Extinction Rebellion took credit for the protest, shining an unwanted spotlight on the climate debate at one of the biggest moments of the tournament. It remains to be seen if security will be heightened at future tours stops to prevent similar demonstrations.



What was the reaction of the crowd during the protest


The crowd in the "amphitheater-like setting around the 18th green started chanting obscenities" after the protesters were apprehended, forcing CBS to briefly cut the audio feed. However, once the scene was under control, the crowd "erupted into chants of 'USA! USA! USA!'"


The "massive crowd around the 18th chanted 'USA, USA' as the protesters were led away" by law enforcement. "Mixed, with some heckling and chanting 'USA,' while others supported the police intervention," was how the crowd's response was reported.







Find more Golf Brands you would like:


With a background in digital media and a passion for golf culture, Emily scours the internet and PGA/LPGA tour circuits for the most entertaining, shocking, and bizarre stories about professional golfers. She is skilled at curating viral golf content, from Instagram antics to tournament controversies, and turning them into shareable, humorous articles. Her readers appreciate her ability to find the fun and humor in the world of elite golf.

Get the Golfaq Newsletter

Subscribe to the Golfaq newsletter to stay informed about the latest developments in the world of golf. You'll receive updates on tournament news, new equipment releases, product reviews and coupons, head-to-head comparisons, and buying guides from our team of experienced golf journalists and industry experts.

By submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy