Protestors run on Travelers Championship green during the final regulation hole of tournament
CMC PGA Tour

Protestors run on Travelers Championship green during the final regulation hole of tournament

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As the final threesome was preparing to finish out the 2024 Travelers Championship, a group of protestors stormed the 18th green at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.

The protestors, representing a group called Extinction Rebellion, were throwing what appeared to be a dry paint-like surface onto the par-4 closing green at the tournament host site, as thousands of fans in the surrounding amphitheater booed and jeered. Police officers and other tournament security subdued and arrested the protestors quickly, removing them from the scene. However, the putting surface had red and white covering them in spots, while Scottie Scheffler, Tom Kim and Akshay Bhatia looked to finish off the PGA Tour Signature event.

Ultimately, Scheffler missed a winning birdie bid from the fringe. Then Tom Kim, who trailed by a shot heading into the final hole and nearly jarred his second shot for an eagle, made the 10-foot birdie putt to force extra holes.

With the 18th hole serving as the primary playoff hole for the Travelers Championship, tournament officials were forced to assess if they could still reasonably play the hole for the sudden-death session. After all, the winner earns $3.6 million in this $20 million tournament.

Officials were able to determine that the hole could be played properly with a change in setup on hole location. The players then teed off and competed in the playoff.

Scheffler managed to hit his approach shot on the first playoff hole to close distance, while Tom Kim's second shot wound up in a plugged, fried-egg lie in the bunker just short of the flag. Scheffler then won the tournament with a two-putt par on the playoff hole to pick up his sixth PGA Tour win of the season -- all coming in majors or Signature events.

In a news release timed with the protest and the tournament conclusion, the group said, "This golf protest action and other, similar ones are the recourse of a movement that has tried all other approaches. Voting, marching, petitioning, and lobbying have all failed, and failed again. The science makes clear that the window of time remaining for drastic reductions in carbon emissions is rapidly closing, and that if we don’t make such cuts we’ll face catastrophes far greater even than what we’re seeing now. At this point, the sole option remaining is to engage in unconventional forms of protest that bring attention to the severity of the climate emergency."

Miles Grant, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, added, “Golf has its environmental problems, but we can’t even have that discussion until we acknowledge the fundamental realities. We are all watching the climate catastrophe unfold at warp speed. Our relatively mild disruption of the Travelers Championship calls attention to nature’s much more severe and long-lasting disruptions."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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