“We created an atmosphere for fans to use their phones and when we get these marquee groups together, that many people want to take photos,” Tom Strong, in charge of tournament standards for the tour, said Friday. “We did have a setback with how it worked. We got together (Memorial Tournament executive director) Dan Sullivan, the marshal team and we beefed it up today.”
Police said about 50 phones were confiscated from the Watson-Fowler group.
Marshals frequently cautioned the galleries following Tiger Woods to silence their phones and not take pictures. Security guards who walk the ropes with Woods also warned spectators who were poised to snap photos as Woods passed.
“We’ll be more aggressive with taking phones away,” Strong said.
After Thursday’s opening round, Watson was clearly angry about the cellphone use.
“Ever since they made that rule that cellphones are allowed, it’s just not fun playing,” he said. “They made that rule, more and more people have been using their cellphones to take pictures. … It’s sad. It’s sad that cellphones can make or break a championship.”
Fowler said things were vastly improved Friday.
“It was awesome today,” he said. “I’d guess a little smaller crowd, obviously, with Phil not being here, weather and a morning time. But the tournament did a great job. We had a few (officials) kind of managing the situation.”
WEATHERING THE STORM: Just over an inch of rain came down at Muirfield Village Golf Club from Thursday night through the second round. Play was delayed for 1 hour, 48 minutes shortly after play began Friday.
Those returning to the course were hit with swirling, chilly winds that made club selection a bear.
The rain changed the conditions so much that some players could hardly recognize the place.
“The golf course that I knew, it’s like I’ve never played here before,” said Scott Stallings, tied for second. “I might as well have not even played a practice round if it’s going to be like this.”
Another of those near the lead, Spencer Levin, added, “(The course) was pretty much the total opposite.”
Of course, the Memorial has long been plagued by inclement weather as the first tournament of the year played on a Northern course.