A record-breaking crowd of 235,000 attended the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale setting an attendance record for a championship staged outside of St Andrews.
This year’s attendance surpassed the 230,000 mark set at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and reflects a 17% increase since the Open last visited Royal Birkdale in 2008.
Record advance ticket sales made it the fastest-selling championship in history and included more than 15,000 youth tickets.
Overall 30,000 golf fans under the age of 25 attended the Open, 13% of the total crowd, and included over 15,000 juniors aged 16 and under who attended free-of-charge as part of the Kids Go Free initiative. All six of the Open hospitality packages sold out, too.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “One of the main reasons why the Open is so highly regarded as a world-class sporting event is the hundreds of thousands of spectators who generate a very special atmosphere for the players and millions of viewers watching around the world.
“A record-breaking crowd has enjoyed a week of thrilling golf and we thank every single person who has visited Royal Birkdale over the last eight days for making this a very special Championship.”
Local hero Tommy Fleetwood has now urged the R&A to host the championship at Royal Birkdale more than every nine-ten years as it has done over recent stagings.
“I’m not just saying this because I’m from Southport but the Open should be here more than what it is,” he said. “I’ve played four and this is absolutely – not just because they’re my home crowds – been the best.
“It’s the biggest selling Open ever outside St Andrews and the course is one of the best in the world. If I had a say, I’d definitely have it more at Birkdale.”