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Phoenix Open may limit crowd size

Citing security concerns raised by a gunman's scuffle with police at this year's Phoenix Open, tournament organisers are considering a plan to limit crowd size.

Proposed changes include cutting the crowd by limiting daily tickets or relying on expensive weekly badges. Limiting alcohol consumption and toning down the tournament's raucous party atmosphere also are under consideration, The Arizona Republic reported Saturday.

Tiger Woods had expressed concerns about security after the incident with a gun-carrying spectator. Tournament sponsors, the Phoenix Thunderbirds, say they will work out specific security solutions over the next three months.

PGA officials have suggested raising the minimum cost of admission to the tournament to $150 or more for the week. Some think such a plan would slash the total crowds from this year's 422,650 to around 250,000, the newspaper said.

Steve Matteucci, who recently was promoted to tournament chairman for next year's Phoenix Open, told the newspaper that new policies will be in effect by June 1.

He said the proposed changes were prompted by the nationally reported incident involving the gun-carrying fan, Brian K. Murphy, during the final round of the tournament on Jan. 31.

Murphy, who was found to have a pistol in his fanny pack, was arrested on suspicion of felony assault on a police officer and disorderly conduct. The case remains under investigation by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.