Open organisers hopeful of 75% crowd capacity at Royal St George’s

Kent course would normally accommodate 40,000 on each day of the championship

 Darren Clarke plays his second shot to the 18th green on the way to winning the 2011 British Open at Royal St George’s. Photograph:  Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Darren Clarke plays his second shot to the 18th green on the way to winning the 2011 British Open at Royal St George’s. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

 

Organisers of July’s British Open are optimistic they will be able to operate at up to 75 per cent crowd capacity for the four days at Royal St George’s.

The R&A are awaiting updates from the British government next month before confirming how many fans will be allowed through the gates in Sandwich, which would usually accommodate 40,000 people on a single championship day.

Unlike last year the event will go ahead but the number of spectators – all of whom will be expected to wear masks while on the property – has yet to be determined. Ireland’s Shane Lowry remains the holder of the Claret Jug after his stunning win at Royal Portrush in 2019.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “We would like to provide certainty on how the Open will work but there remains great uncertainty.

“The one thing I am clear about is we will play the Open at St George’s. Uncertainty is about what the environment will be we will operate in.

“There are multiple plans and multiple options. We are optimistic for a significant attendance of up to 75 per cent of capacity.

“We don’t want to get ahead of public health and government policy. We are retaining as much optionality as we can until the rules become clear.”

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