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Hoylake back on Open rota

Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake has re-established itself on the British Open rota and may host the event again within the next 10 years, Royal & Ancient Chief Executive Peter Dawson said on Monday.

The event, won by Tiger Woods, drew 230,000 spectators to the course, only 9,000 less than the record crowd that watched Woods win the Open at St. Andrews in 2000.

It was the first time the major has been held at Hoylake since Argentine Roberto de Vicenzo won in 1967.

"I think this will go down as one of the best Opens we have ever staged. It was the second highest attendance -- 230,000 people and, very encouragingly, 21,000 juniors," said Dawson at a news conference.

"We had absolutely no complaints from any of the players and the course has spoken for itself."

While Dawson denied the R&A had already sealed a contract with Hoylake for future Opens he said that with nine venues on the Open rota and with St. Andrews being used more often than most it was roughly 10 years between courses staging Opens.

"Royal Liverpool is now back on that rota," he said.

Dawson also said that despite growing concern over interruptions from mobile telephones and photographers, the R&A were determined not to introduce similar security controls used at the US Masters and US Open.

Woods and his final round playing partner Sergio Garcia were continually interrupted by amateur photographers, many using mobile phone cameras, on Sunday.

Both players complained about the interruptions and the matter was raised at the R&A's media conference.

Director of Championships David Hill said they felt electronic screening of spectators before they entered the course was not a step they wanted to take.

"As it was shown at the US Open, it will mean 20-30 minute delays at the entrances. We would rather encourage people not to use cameras and mobile phones on the course," said Hill.

"Confiscation is a problem, too. Just collecting the phones and cameras afterwards can mean quite a messy situation.

"Also, it is quite difficult to eject them."

July 25, 2006


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