17/07/2019

Record Breaking Crowds Attend The Open

The amount of people flocking to Royal Portrush to witness golfing history at The 148th Open this week has set a new attendance record for a Championship staged outside St Andrews.

Practice days alone have pulled in 61,000 fans, surpassing the previous high of 52,000 set at Hoylake in 2006.

A record-breaking crowd of 237,750 are attending the event as a whole, surpassing the 235,000 who attended Royal Birkdale in 2017 and the 237,000 mark set at St Andrews in 2015. Northern Ireland's figures are beaten only by the 239,000 strong crowd recorded at St Andrews in 2000.

The Dunluce Links provided the scene for The Open just once before, at the 80th championship in 1951. Golf's governing body, the R&A hailed the achievement. Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said: "This is a huge week not just for The Open but for golf as well. We are making history with a record attendance for a Championship staged outside of St Andrews and the levels of excitement among fans this week have been phenomenal.  
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"I said last year that big time sport needs big time crowds and we certainly have that at Royal Portrush as we stage the biggest sporting event ever to be held in Northern Ireland. The eyes of the sporting world are firmly set on Royal Portrush.

"We would like to thank all the fans for their passion and enthusiasm as we look forward to finding out who will lift the Claret Jug on Sunday. The Open would not be the success it is without the spectators."

Overall, 30,000 fans under the age of 25 are attending The Open, which includes 21,000 children under the age of 16 who attend free of charge thanks to the long-running Kids Go Free initiative.

The Open Camping Village continues to prove a popular accommodation option for fans with more than 6,300 fans booking a place to stay on site this year, up from the 4,000 spectators who stayed at Carnoustie in 2018.

A third of those fans staying at the campsite are under 25 years old meaning that The R&A has now provided over 8,000 free bed spaces for under 25s over the first four years of The Open Camping Village.



(JG/CM)

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