The scene is set | Royal St George’s | The 149th Open – The Open

I think all in all, getting the spectators here for us was really important, Slumbers explained on the eve of the Championship.

I've talked about what I think of The Open in terms of where I want it to be positioned as a world-class sporting event, and big-time sporting events need big-time crowds. We've worked really hard with government to do that.

We're very conscious of the environment that we're all operating in. There's very strict conditions for any of those spectators to be able to get into the grounds, and they're being held further back from the players than we would normally do. If you go out, you can see the ropes are further back.

But I think spectators play a massive part in sport; (and its) no different in the Open Championship.

When you wait and see what the 18th is like on Sunday afternoon when the winner is coming down, when the crowds are in the grandstand, that's what the Open is about for us.

A CHANCE FOR THE OUTSIDERS?

An extra layer of intrigue is provided by the identities of the last two men to be crowned Champion Golfer of the Year at Royal St Georges.

Clarke was ranked outside the worlds top 100 when he triumphed a decade ago, while Ben Curtis proved an even more unlikely victor in 2003, sensationally winning on his first major appearance when ranked 396th in the world.

That statistic alone will give hope to every player bidding to emulate Clarke, Curtis and a host of legendary names.

A special place in history awaits the winner of golfs original Championship. Royal St Georges is ready to provide the perfect stage.

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The scene is set | Royal St George's | The 149th Open - The Open

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