Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Rules Address Autographs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Rules Address Autographs

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- Senior PGA Tour players are historically among the most accessible of athletes to fans. Apparently, some are taking advantage of their good nature this week at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

Beginning today, tournament security officials will not allow fans to bring in items such as backpacks and briefcases to the World Golf Village's The Slammer & The Squire course, in response to fans who have beseiged some players such as Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player with multiple items to be autographed.

Also, when the tournament begins tomorrow, fans will not be allowed to ask for an autograph from a player until he has finished his round. That, according to the PGA Tour, has been the general autograph policy at events this year.

Signs will be posted at all tournament entrances about the policies.

"It's very clear these are professional autograph-seekers, who are going to re-sell these items in some manner," said Steve Breck, vice-president of operations for Seven Hills Security, which is assisting volunteer personnel at the Legends this week. "I've seen them with flags, balls, hats -- all kinds of items in backpacks, containers like that."

Breck said players who have won major championships, especially a Masters, are being especially targeted.

"These guys have hit lists," Breck said. "I've seen them get three or four things autographed by a player, then go to a backpack, stuff the things in there, and cross the players' name off a list."

Breck said fans with items such as large purses or diaper bags would be allowed in. Fans with backpacks or other items of luggage will be refused admission until they leave them in their vehicles. He said anyone who persists "will be directed to law enforcement personnel."

PLAYER WINS -- Gary Player made five birdies between the eighth and 15th holes to take low pro honors in yesterday's First Union Pro-Am and win $500. …

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