Get ready for the biggest British Open yet.
The 150th Open at St. Andrews in Scotland is expected to draw a record-breaking 290,000 fans in July.
The R&A announced that more than 1.3 million ticket applications were received, which resulted in the highest-ever number of general admission tickets. That isn’t really that surprising given that this was the first year the championship instituted a ticket lottery, not to mention that the Open returns to the Old Course, which is widely considered to be “the Home of Golf.”
Attendance is estimated to reach 52,000 during the four days of the Championship, with 80,000 fans to be admitted during the practice round. The previous highest attendance was 239,000 when Tiger Woods won at St. Andrews in 2000.
Approximately 20 percent of the general admission tickets have been allocated for fans 25-and-under and 20,000 free tickets have been distributed for free to those under age 16.
“The fans make everything,” said reigning British Open champion Collin Morikawa. “We go back a couple years ago when COVID had come by, it was kind of getting a little bland and it was getting a little boring in the sense of just — we love what we do, we love playing golf, but the energy the fans bring out, it kind of brings out the best of us and it brings out the best competitors in ourselves.
Collin Morikawa holds up the Claret Jug as he poses for photographers on the 18th green after winning the British Open at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, England on July 18, 2021. Photo by Ian Walton/Associated Press
“When I was out there last year at the Open, seeing the fans, seeing how much they truly love the game and have the passion for the game, those are the people you want to play in front of. Every time I think I’m going to be able to come over to the Open and play in front of numerous fans just like we’re going to have this coming year, it’s very exciting because it brings out – it really does bring out the best in us. To have the most respectful fans, to have some of the fans that I think truly understand the game more than other fans around the world makes things even better to just get a couple claps when you hit it to maybe 30 feet rather than wanting to hit it to three feet sometimes.”