Stenson stated this previous week that the thief or thieves had not been caught, and that he was satisfied he had been focused.
On reflection, he can see that he unwittingly left a path of clues to the place he was staying. He let Sky Sports activities movie him strolling into the rental home holding the Claret Jug. He took a photograph with followers in entrance of the home, and he parked his courtesy automotive, with Open Championship markings on the aspect doorways, within the driveway.
“I assume it was a little bit of an eye fixed-opener when it comes to once we’re at a few of these massive occasions, we do make straightforward marks for criminals who’re fairly intelligent at what they do,” Stenson stated.
It was that the worst crime that gamers feared was the theft of luggage from the trunks of their automobiles. The arrival of the web and the escalation of prize cash have upped the ante. The gamers’ aggressive schedules are extensively circulated, and at any PGA Tour cease, it’s as straightforward to study precisely what time the golfers are enjoying as it’s know when the buses or trains are operating.
Their earnings are also a matter of public document, and with 36 gamers having earned at the very least $2 million this season, their wealth makes them engaging targets. Residence addresses are at everyone’s fingertips, just some clicks away, rendering the golfers’ bubble existence removed from impermeable.
After a spherical on the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., in March, Jason Day stated, he acquired a name from his spouse, Ellie, who had stayed at house in Ohio with the couple’s two younger youngsters. She informed him that she had heard a prowler.
Day suggested her to go away directly with the youngsters, and he phoned a good friend who’s a police officer. The pal drove to the Days’ residence and, in line with Day, discovered a person in darkish garments hiding in a tree on the property.
“Now if I’m gone, I’ve cops keep on the home,” stated Day, who additionally plans so as to add a German shepherd to the household as a guard canine.
“What is absolutely good is that the PGA Tour safety does a unbelievable job each week of making an attempt to deal with sure threats, and also you don’t hear about them,” Day stated.
The tour employs a director of company safety, Steve Olson, and has a gaggle of consultants, lots of them personal investigators or retired F.B.I. brokers, who work intently with event officers to make sure the gamers’ security.
“Our longstanding coverage is that we don’t present specifics on issues of safety associated to gamers and tournaments,” Laura Neal, the vice chairman of communications, stated in a press release.
The safety group might hold a low profile, however its fingerprints are obvious within the new placement of the gamers’ parking zone right here, close to the primary tee and guarded by a makeshift barrier. This event and the Memorial outdoors Columbus two hours away — centrally situated and with excessive-profile fields — are extensively seen by gamers as occasions the place autograph hunters, lots of whom procure signatures to promote on the web, pose the best hazard.
Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion, stated somebody had as soon as adopted him from the Muirfield Village course outdoors Columbus to his rental home after a charity occasion. By way of a collection of evasive turns, Watson managed to lose the individual tailing him.
“I by no means go the identical path to my lodge or my home,” Watson stated. “I all the time change it up.”
He stated he had additionally discovered to eschew the event courtesy automobiles and as an alternative lease automobiles on the airport. Or he rides together with his caddie, Ted Scott. Watson doesn’t publish pictures on social media when he’s out and about till after he leaves the spot.
“I’m bizarre,” he stated.
Truly, safety specialists described Watson as sensible. Chuck Tobin, president of the Affiliation of Menace Evaluation Professionals, a corporation of regulation enforcement and personal safety officers who shield excessive-profile individuals, stated current research had discovered that athletes, musicians and entertainers have been focused extra typically than chief executives, judges or entrepreneurs.
Tobin, who was the nationwide director of safety for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential marketing campaign, attributed the phenomenon to their globe-trotting life, and the standing conferred on them in a world that spins on a popular culture axis. Gone are the times when individuals with dangerous intentions collected info on celebrities by rooting by means of their trash, Tobin added. Now all they should do is undergo social media postings.
In a phone interview, Tobin stated, “One of many issues I feel is usually ignored is athletes’ life appeal to individuals, and their managers aren’t actually outfitted to offer them the recommendation that they should shield themselves.”
Tobin divided the “dangerous guys” into two teams: those that goal a person and people who benefit from a chance, like a serious sporting occasion the place properly-heeled athletes converge.
Rory McIlroy, who final performed right here in 2014, is staying at a unique lodge this time. “The final couple of occasions I performed right here, autograph hunters checked into the identical lodge,” he stated.
Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion and former world No. 1, breathed simpler when he noticed a police officer patrolling the foyer of the lodge the place he’s staying, he stated.
“That’s the primary time I’ve seen that,” stated Scott, who’s enjoying within the event for the fifteenth time.
He’s maybe warier than most. A number of years in the past, he stated, he enlisted the assistance of PGA Tour safety when a stalker was pursuing him.
“To not sound like an entire wuss,” Scott stated, however the police presence “is sort of comforting.”