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Golf fans face tight security at Open

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BUSINESSES in Sandwich should not lose out during the Open Championship despite tighter security measures.

This was the message from the event organisers at a press conference at Royal St George's.

The new restrictions mean spectators will not be allowed to leave the Sandwich golf club and return on the same ticket during the day.

David Hill, championship secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, which runs the event, is confident traders will still reap huge benefits from the event.

"Although you won't get the spectators going into Sandwich at lunchtime I don't think local businesses should be worried, he said.

"The town will be extremely busy in the evenings and traders can look forward to longer term rewards when golf fans come back to the area after the event."

Mr Hill said statistics proved that people come back to an Open Championship venue for up to two years after the event.

"Many of them want to play a championship course and bring their families for holidays to the area," he added.

"East Kent will also benefit from the huge amount of world-wide publicity the Open gets, with the last two hours of play seen by 72 different countries."

Mr Hill said it was a "sad reflection of the time" that they have had to step up security but it is the same with every other major sporting event today.

"We have to be seen to be taking responsible action and will be working closely with the police, " he added.

Captain of Royal St George's, David Bonsall, said he hoped the local community would benefit from the championship.

"It will be a bigger event than before with even more people discovering the delights of Sandwich for the first time, " he added.

"We are enormously proud to have such a prestigious event back and are looking forward to playing our part."

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