The R&A has warned fans who purchase tickets for the 2019 Open from secondary ticketing websites that they may be refused entry.
For the first time in the history of golf’s oldest major, tickets for the four championship days at Royal Portrush have sold out as excitement grows ahead of the first Open on the Emerald Isle since 1951.
In anticipation of high levels of demand, the championship organisers moved it to an all-ticket allocation. However, just like with many live music events that operate a similar model, a drawback has been that secondary tickets sites such as Viagogo and Stubhub have snapped up hundreds and are now selling them for vastly inflated prices.
On Viagogo in particular, a Sunday day ticket, which was selling on TheOpen.com for £80, was available for £301.
“We are continuing to remind fans to only buy tickets from TheOpen.com or our Authorised Ticketing Providers and that any tickets made available on websites such as Viagogo, Safetickets.net, Stubhub, eBay and Gumtree are done so without the permission of The R&A,” a spokesperson for the governing body told UK Club Golfer.
“Fans should be aware that we do not permit reselling of tickets and may refuse entry to the championship to any holders of resold tickets.”
The R&A is instead urging fans to sign up to a waiting list for tickets, where priority will be given to members of The One Club, which is free to sign up to and provides access to a range of benefits associated with The Open.
But while championship days may be sold out, there are still tickets available for the four practice days taking place from Sunday, July 14 to Wednesday, July 17.
“We knew there would be substantial demand but the volume and pace of it has certainly surpassed our expectations,” added the spokesperson. “We moved to an all-ticket model in anticipation of the high demand for tickets and are working closely with our partners in the public agencies to ensure we deliver a fantastic experience for fans.”