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Open Championship to allow attendance of 32,000 golf fans each day

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — The Open Championship will admit up to 32,000 fans each day for next month’s golf tournament at Royal St. George’s, the R&A said Saturday.

The figure was announced after the R&A confirmed The Open would be included in the government’s plan to allow some events, like Wimbledon, to take place with higher capacities than otherwise permitted under coronavirus rules.

“As a result, we can now confirm that we will be able to welcome up to 32,000 fans on each championship day of the 149th Open at Royal St. George’s and that this will include those existing ticket-holders and hospitality guests who have already purchased tickets,” the R&A said in a statement.

Golf’s oldest championship is scheduled for July 15-18. It was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Capacity is usually about 40,000 per day at Royal St. George’s.

“These fans will play a huge role in creating a very special atmosphere as the world’s best players compete for the claret jug and we look forward to welcoming them to Royal St. George’s,” said Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive.

Slumbers recently said they want to avoid the chaos that erupted on the 18th hole at the PGA Championship on May 23 when Phil Mickelson was swallowed up by the crowd and had to fight his way through to the green. The PGA of America later apologized to Mickelson, who won, and Brooks Koepka about the wild scene.

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