British Open to ban cell phones after player complaints

Updated: January 22, 2007, 6:34 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced that cellular phones will not be allowed at the 2007 British Open in response to several complaints from players including Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie.

All fans entering Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland for July's tournament will be searched, Royal & Ancient said in an e-mail Monday.

"Spectators will understand that this measure is being put in place to make the Open a more enjoyable experience for all," David Hill, director of championships at the Royal & Ancient, said in the statement. "There's no other reasonable option other than a complete ban."

Cell phones are routinely banned at events in the United States, but September's Ryder Cup was the first European tournament to follow suit.

Woods was repeatedly forced to stop mid-swing during the Ryder Cup as cell phones rang or took pictures. Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia had similar experiences.

At the time of the complaint, Hill said a ban was undesirable because confiscation of cell phones would cause delays and ejections would be difficult to carry out.

Information from Bloomberg was used in this report.