Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said this year has run smoothly and scalpers have been obeying state law, which prohibits ticket sales within a 2,700-foot boundary around the Augusta National Golf Club.
Previous years saw a steadily increasing number of violations.
In 2012, undercover deputies arrested more than three-dozen people accused of exchanging or soliciting tickets too close to the National’s gates. Most were charged with disorderly conduct, but two were charged with violating the scalping law.
In 2011, 17 were arrested and 79 badges were confiscated. In 2010, 66 badges were confiscated, and in 2009 there were 37.
Gay said he thinks signs posted around the area are encouraging scalpers to move beyond the 2,700-foot boundary.
“The added bonus is our traffic guys are moving (pedestrian traffic) on along,” he said.
On Tuesday morning police responded to calls that someone was attempting to scalp tickets along Interstate 20. Police were unable to locate the scalpers. They suspect it was the same person in each instance.
“We haven’t had any more issues with him,” Gay said Friday.
If he had been caught, Gay said, the scalper would have faced charges involving safety concerns.
This year has not been without arrests, but overall it has paled in comparison to some past years.
Police did arrest a Tennessee street preacher who refused to leave the grounds Wednesday. A news release said Larry Patrick Craft, 52, was showing aggressive behavior toward patrons over their religious beliefs and their dress before he entered the grounds.
Last year, a 40-year-old Ohio man found himself in cuffs after he slipped under the ropes following the tournament and attempted to put sand from a trap into a cup. Police said alcohol was a factor.
In 2009, a Canadian man was arrested for taking off his shirt and swimming in the pond on the 16th hole. A year earlier, a Utah man jumped into a bunker on the 18th green and began making snow angels with his arms.