The Open Championship will welcome up to 32,000 fans each day during next month's tournament at Royal St. George's, The R&A announced Saturday. Ticket holders and hospitality guests will be given specific attendance requirements including COVID-19 status certification.
Last year, The Open was canceled amid the worsening pandemic. It wound up being the only of golf's four major championships to not be held in 2020, marking the first time since World War II that it was not played.
"We are pleased to now be able to proceed with our plans for having a significant attendance at this year's Championship," Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said in a statement. "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."
This will be the 149th playing of The Open, golf's original championship, set for July 15-18. Because last year's event was rescheduled, it pushed the 150th edition of The Open at St. Andrews from 2021 to 2022.
"We have always said we will do everything possible to return fans to our iconic cultural and sporting events as soon, and as safely, as possible -- and thanks to the phenomenal success of our vaccine rollout and uptake of the NHS App we're able to take another step forward through our flagship Events Research Programme," culture secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement.
Irishman Shane Lowry is the reigning champion as he captured his first-career major with a six-stroke victory over Tommy Fleetwood in 2019. Lowry narrowly made the U.S. Open cut at Torrey Pines this week but had three top-10s in his previous four events including a career-best T4 finish at the PGA Championship in May.