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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2006, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
Record crowds enjoy Hoylake Open
Fans at the Open
Fans have thronged the fairways all week at Hoylake
This year's Open at Hoylake attracted a new record for the event in England with 230,000 fans watching the action.

It beat last year's total attendance of 223,000 at St Andrews, which also had the all-time record of 239,000 in 2000.

Players were quick to praise the links course, with Kiwi Michael Campbell hoping it would not have to wait another 39 years to stage the event.

"Hopefully the R&A will put this course back on the rota sooner rather than later," said the ex-US Open champion.

"It has been a marvellous week. All credit to the R&A and the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. The course has held up well and all the locker room talk this week has been very positive."

And he added: "While we each have a favourite Open golf course, it would be nice to play Royal Liverpool on a more frequent basis."

Thomas Bjorn agreed with Campbell, saying: "It is a very good golf course and has put up a good test.

It was my first time at Hoylake and I thought it was how a links should be

Tom Watson

"It is the people who have made this week and it has felt very much like a people's Open as the spectators have been magnificent."

Open legend Tom Watson said: "It was my first time at Hoylake and I thought it was how a links should be. I think it should continue to come here."

Tiger Woods was naturally enthusiastic, too.

"I think it's a fantastic test," said the American after his two-shot win. "With the golf course being this fast it lent itself to just amazing creativity."

Meanwhile, a protester for Fathers 4 Justice threw purple flour bombs onto the 18th green shortly before Woods wrapped up his victory.

Six flour bombs were thrown onto the green before the protestor was led away by police.

Sergio Garcia, Woods' playing partner, said the players had not been affected by the incident.

"We only saw the paint - we didn't see when they threw it," said the Spaniard.

"It's very disappointing to see that happen in a championship like this one is, the best championship in the world. It didn't affect me at all. I wasn't putting through the paint anyway."

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23 Jul 06 |  Golf
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