ORGANISERS of the country’s biggest women’s golf tournament hope it will break attendance records when it comes to Wirral next week.
They believe more than 75,000 spectators could come to the 2012 Women’s British Open at Hoylake, beating the previous best at Royal Lytham in 2009 – if the weather is good.
Among those due to play at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club will be 2009 champion Catriona Mathew, who will lead the home challenge fresh from victory at the 2012 Irish Women’s Open.
Other British hopefuls include Carly Booth, Melissa Reid and another former British Women’s Open champion, Laura Davies.
Tournament director Ross Hallett said the attendances at the event would be “very weather dependent”.
He said: “We would love to get a similar number to Royal Lytham and a lot of people here think we might be able to get in excess of that, which would be fantastic – but we are weather dependent.
“But if we get a good leaderboard over the weekend, with well-known players and a good British and American showing, we could do well.”
The tournament runs from September 13-16, with practice days before that.
And the organisers are seeking to bring a fun element to the tournament, with players and visitors encouraged to dress in red, white and blue on the Saturday to mark the summer of sport and the Jubilee.
Mr Hallett said with the success of Ladies Day at the Grand National they had “thought long and hard” about how to match that.
He also praised the work of Wirral Council for its role in bringing the tournament to Hoylake.
He said: “Their enthusiasm is fantastic and they understand – more than a lot of councils do – how important major international sporting events can be in terms of their economic impact.”
The railway line between Hoylake and West Kirby will be closed for 13 days before, during and after the tournament to allow access to the municipal golf course, which is used by players for practice sessions.
Parking restrictions will be in force along routes to and from the golf course and around Hoylake but there will be free parking for visitors, which will be signposted.