R&A: no idea what effect Woods' absence would have

BY foxsports • December 13, 2009

The Royal & Ancient says it is too soon to say what effect Tiger Woods' absence would have on attendances at next year's British Open.

History suggests location not lineup is the biggest factor on crowd size.

Woods was recovering from knee surgery when more than 200,000 spectators ignored inclement weather to watch Ireland's Padraig Harrington win last year's title at Royal Birkdale in England.

Only 130,000 watched Woods at Turnberry this year, although crowds are traditionally lower when the tournament is on Scotland's west coast.

R&A spokesman Malcolm Booth said Saturday ``we will have to wait and see when Tiger returns. We always want to see the world No. 1 playing in The Open and hope he will be there in July.''

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