News Record-breaking crowds at Royal Portrush for 148th Open |...

Record-breaking crowds at Royal Portrush for 148th Open | UTV

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The 148th Open at Royal Portrush has a new attendance record for a championship staged outside St Andrews, with 237,750 people attending.

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

But the event as a whole has also exceeded expectations to become the second largest championship ever – recorded only by the 239,000-strong crowd recorded at St Andrews in 2000.

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Royal Portrush has only hosted the Open once before, the 80th championship back in 1951 when England's Max Faulkner won his only major title.

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 without the spectators.

– Martin Slumbers, R&A CEO

Golf's governing body, the R&A, has hailed the history-making attendance at this year's event.

Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said: “I said last year that big time sports needs big time crowds and we certainly have that at Royal Portrush as we stage the biggest sporting event ever to be hero in Northern Ireland.

"The eyes of the sporting world are solid set on Royal Portrush."

The R&A is continuing to try to open the sport up to younger fans.

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

Having played on iconic golf courses since 1980, the Open is golf's oldest championship.

It is said to deliver an annual economic benefit or up to £ 100m to its host region.

The Open’s Biggest Attendances

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