THE 146th OPEN, first round: It's been a busy day at Royal Birkdale , with the world's best golfers not just talking about their games but beards, football, clothes, chewing gum and what they did or didn't do on holiday.
Beef is NOT shaving off his beard
"I don't want to get rid of it but I need a haircut really bad and I need to get my beard trimmed, but only a little bit."
Tommy loves his home town reception
"The crowd were absolutely brilliant. They did their part, I just couldn't quite do mine. It's absolutely fantastic playing in front of that many people. It's brilliant. It's a great experience and I loved it."
Spieth keeps chewing his lucky gum
"I was offered some, I was one under through two and I thought I better keep it in. It's still in there now. It's probably about time for a new piece!"
Thomas in a TIE – near the top of the leaderboard!
"I didn't come here to dress well, I came here to try to play some good golf. I don't wear a tie very often but I wore one every day in high school!"
What goes on in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas
"We had fun, that's all I'm saying guys!"
Poulter is checking out the weather forecast
"Friday is going to be brutal. And today was – it was good to post a red number, considering what we've got coming."
Golf is better than football, says early leader Manley
"Some people say I should have gone professional. I was nowhere near good enough. Every time a game was canceled, I'd be like, 'great, I can go and play golf with my friends'. I loved golf. I didn't really like football."
A record venue crowd of more than 225,000 spectators are expected to attend The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale this week making it one of the best attended in the history of the Championship.
Based on strong advance sales, the attendance will surpass the previous high mark of 201,500 at Royal Birkdale in 2008, with this year’s Championship the fastest selling in history. Thousands of fans are still expected to purchase tickets throughout the week and this year’s Championship could take its place in the four largest attendances in The Open’s history.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “The record number of spectators expected to attend Royal Birkdale this week underpins The Open’s reputation as one of the world’s great sporting events.
“We very much look forward to welcoming fans from all over the globe to Royal Birkdale to join us for a true celebration of world-
The Open is increasingly attracting a younger audience with more than 20,000 young people aged under 25 attending the Championship. More than 10,000 Youth Tickets have been sold in advance of the Championship, while over 10,000 juniors aged 16 years will attend the Championship free of charge as part of the successful Kids Go Free initiative.
Several hospitality and ticket categories have sold out with the Claret Jug Pavilion, Champions Club, Greenside Club, Reserved Seating and Twilight Tickets all selling out in advance of the Championship.
More than 3,000 spectators will take advantage of free accommodation for youngsters and a low-
The Open’s Biggest Attendances:
2000, St Andrews, Scotland: 239,000
2015, St Andrews, Scotland: 237,000
2006, Royal Liverpool, England: 230,000
2017, Royal Birkdale, England: >225,000
2005, St Andrews, Scotland: 223,000
1990, St Andrews, Scotland: 209,000
2014, Royal Liverpool, England: 203,000
2008, Royal Birkdale, England: 201,500
2010, St Andrews, England: 201,000
1998, Royal Birkdale, England: 195,000
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