The Open Championship has cemented its place as one of the most iconic events in global sport following an historic 145th staging at Royal Troon in July, sitting at the heart of Scotland’s world-class golf events portfolio.
The Ayrshire coastline played host to one of the most thrilling final rounds in golfing history as Henrik Stenson overcame Phil Mickelson in The 145th Open to lift the Claret Jug with a final-round 63 and record low score of 20 under par.
Almost 40 years after the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’ between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson at Turnberry, Stenson and Mickelson went head-to-head in what has been dubbed the ‘Battle in the Breeze’ for a final day that will be remembered for decades to come.
The championship was attended by 173,000 spectators despite inclement weather for much of the week, with as many as two-thirds travelling from outwith Scotland. Innovative initiatives such as the inaugural Open Camping Village, the Twilight Ticket and the Kids go Free scheme also opened up the championship to new audiences while the on-course experience was enhanced with an updated spectator app, a new Autograph Zone and an immersive and interactive practice range experience created by new host broadcaster Sky Sports.
Screened in more than 600 million homes around the world, including live on NBC in the United States for the first time, The Open also provided Scotland with unrivalled marketing collateral with stunning images of the Ayrshire coastline enticing future visitors to the country.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events with VisitScotland, said: “The Open is a perfect example of how a major global sporting event can help to boost Scotland’s profile as the perfect stage for events and support our economy with visitor spend and marketing benefit.
“The Open is held in Scotland, the Home of Golf, more than any other country with the roots of the Championship firmly entrenched here and there is no doubt we witnessed one of the most spectacular final rounds in its illustrious history at Royal Troon. We look forward to welcoming The Open back to Scotland at Carnoustie in 2018.”
Scotland’s spectacular summer of golf events continues this week with both the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald, which is free to attend, and the Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie.
More information available at www.ladiesscottishopen.com and www.senioropenchampionship.com.