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We’re used to seeing play halted for a variety of reasons at golf tournaments – but this might be a first.

For the second day running, the 151st Open was briefly held up – but this time the “protestor” was a little less forthcoming.

The brief pause happened early on during the third round after a rare Natterjack toad found its way onto Royal Liverpool’s 13th green…

According to Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, “the natterjack toad is almost exclusively confined to coastal sand dune systems, coastal grazing marshes, and sandy heaths.

“Notable natterjack toad populations exist on the sand dunes along the Merseyside coast, the Cumbrian coast and on the Scottish Solway.”

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The Wildlife Trust, meanwhile, notes that the Natterjack toad is “the UK’s loudest amphibian – but also one of the rarest”.

As a result, they are protected by UK law and must only be handled by a specialist – which, in the case of The Open, is Hoylake’s links manager James Bledge.

We’ll let you do you own slow play jokes…


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