Friday, May 24, 2024

Royal County Down to cap Irish Open attendance as they hunt big US players – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Daily crowds at this September’s Amgen Irish Open at Royal County Down will be limited to around 16,000 which is approximately 6,000 less than when the famous Newcastle links last hosted the tournament in 2015.

The decision to reduce the number of spectators coming through the gates was taken by the DP World Tour to ensure maximum comfort and a greater viewing experience especially for younger fans.

“So interestingly, they’ve capped this year’s Irish Open at 15-16,000 a day, which isn’t a huge amount,” said chairman of Royal County Down’s Irish Open committee, Kevin Lowry who

“That’s around 5-6,000 a day less than in 2015, the feeling very much being that they want people, especially the younger generation, being able to see when they’re here.

“There are plenty of good vantage points out there but there won’t be as many stands because there are vantage points out there.

“They’ve walked the course to decide how many it can comfortably hold.”

A greater viewing experience for younger people will hopefully see them get up close and personal to some of the game’s biggest stars.

Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Pádraig Harrington and Seamus Power’s inclusion has already boosted the tournament which will take place from September 12-15.

However, perched on the wall of the clubhouse restaurant is a picture from the 2007 Walker Cup and Kevin Lowry’s ambition is to attract as many players from the 07 American team to return to Royal County Down this autumn.

While LIV Golf’s Dustin Johnson is ruled out, Billy Horschel is expected to compete while Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Jamie Lovemark could be coaxed into making the trip.

Jonathan Caldwell, who partnered McIlroy in the 2007 Walker Cup where inside the ropes crowds were limited to around 15,000 per day could be handed an invite while Danny Willett is also another potential starter after a recent return from shoulder surgery.


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