Organisers of The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale have confirmed that the tournament was the most-attended staging of the golf event on English soil.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) announced that more than 235,000 fans attended the course throughout the week, with the event finishing on Sunday. The previous English record was set at the Royal Liverpool in 2006 where crowds reached 230,000.
The last time The Open was held at Southport’s Royal Birkdale in 2008, crowds reached 201,500, meaning a jump of 17 per cent in 2017.
The highest ever attendance at the tournament was at St. Andrews in Scotland during the 2000 competition, in which 239,000 fans attended.
The advance ticket sales this year also made it the fastest-selling Championship in history. The record included more than 15,000 youth tickets.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said, according to the Liverpool Echo: “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.”
Prior to the tournament starting, organisers enforced an order to ban touts from area around the course. Those in charge at Royal Birkdale said that security consultants identified more than 30 touting gangs, mostly from Manchester and Liverpool that had previously targeted the championships.