British Open 2011: Even Without Tiger Woods, Ticket Sales Are Strong

Ever since Tiger Woods broke onto the golfing scene, there has been no better way to sell tickets than having him in the field. Conversely, when he doesn't play, ticket prices tend to take a hit, as anyone trying to resell their U.S. Open tickets found out. At least in England, it appears one thing may be an even better draw: The chance of seeing British golfers at the top of their game playing for the British Open.

With Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy holding the top three spots in the world, ticket sales are reportedly up 20 percent for the July 14-17 Open Championship at St. Andrews Golf Course. McIlroy, a 22-year-old from Northern Ireland, seems to be the main reason, at least according to Peter Dawson, chief executive officer of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews:

"Rory’s win at Congressional has certainly injected a lot of life into ticket sales for the championship," Dawson said in a telephone interview. "It’s very noticeable. It’s taken us from a cumulative position of slightly ahead of the last time we were at Sandwich to being 20 percent ahead at this point."

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