SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- The inmates have taken over the asylum at the PGA Championship.
Play was called at 2:14 p.m. on Saturday for the threat of dangerous weather. Shortly thereafter, the rain settled in and, more or less, security went to drier ground. The problem with that was that a number of fans stopped abiding by the rules of basic decorum.
Several fans waded inside the ropes at Baltusrol's Lower Course, taking their own personal tour of the tee boxes, fairways and greens.
One fan was pacing back and forth on the tee of the par-3 fourth, snapping selfies and sharing them on the social media platform of his choice. After he cleared the way, a middle-aged man, with his children on the outside of the ropes, walked in to pantomime hitting a tee shot to the lake-guarded hole. He hushed the crowd of a few dozen amused onlookers, took a cut with an invisible club, picked up the tee and waved to the not-really adulating crowd.
Meanwhile, on the par-5 18th, fans were walking into the middle of the fairway to look at the Jack Nicklaus plaque, placed there in honor of Nicklaus' 1-iron to the hole in 1980. Several took pictures, too, on the bridge that goes over the small stream connecting the ponds on Nos. 4 and 18. Consider it the Swilcan Bridge of the Jersey Turnpike.
— Ryan Ballengee (@RyanBallengee) July 30, 2016
Fans also walked around with articles of clothing on, turning the venue into a mini Woodstock. A man walked around shirtless, while another was waiting on the rope line respectfully, albeit shoeless, amid a littering of empty beer cans.
Some fans must have also had fun with the 18th hole manual scoreboard, taking the numbers 6 and 9 and putting them next to each other in plain view on its backside.
A few more fans wanted to get the contestant experience here at the PGA, walking over toward the scoring tent for the players to idle there for a while. Worth the price of admission.
Most heinous of all, however, was the actions of a fan who was strolling the fairways. A fan who I spotted walking up the third hole was surprised that he wasn't allowed to do what he was doing, and came up with an excuse.
"One guy was walking on the course too and he found a ball and picked it up," the fan said.
So, when play resumes, whenever it does, a few players may be surprised to learn their balls could be gone, as well other markers that kept their place of their next shot.
Stay classy, Jersey.