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Royal Melbourne Readies for Presidents Cup crowds, maybe Trump too

Jason Day plays a tee shot during the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club says December’s Presidents Cup could attract in excess of 130,000 spectators and boast a level of infrastructure never-before-seen for a golf tournament on Australian soil.

A proven tournament venue for many decades, Royal Melbourne has hosted the Presidents Cup twice previously (1998 & 2011) and this week is staging the world’s leading amateur golfers for the Australian Master of the Amateurs.

Speaking on the Australian Master of the Amateurs live stream (see below), Royal Melbourne General Manager Warwick Hill-Rennie said this year’s Presidents Cup will be the country’s biggest yet.

“The beauty of Royal Melbourne is obviously the width and the fact that we can accommodate parking and infrastructure using Sandringham [Golf Course]," Hill-Rennie said.

“We’d likely get 35,000 people a day and if you consider that they’re following a small number of players, the concentrations are large.”

To put the potential figures in perspective, a reported 25,132 fans attended the final day of Tiger Woods’ historic 2009 Australian Masters victory at Kingston Heath.

Eye-catching grandstands will be in place at Royal Melbourne come December.

“The first tee for example has got a massive stand, seats 1500 people,” Hill-Rennie said.

“There’s room on two very large bleachers for standing of probably that number again.

“Big construction on the Composite Course on 11, 13, 10, 16 tee box, there’s a big construction as well so Australia wouldn’t have seen a build this big.”

As is always the case with the PGA Tour-run biennial contest between the United States and the Internationals, organisers will be planning for a potential visit from the current US President.

“The main difference is around security, particularly if the President does come, the security changes to a whole new level and that’s something we’ll need to learn a lot of from the PGA Tour because we would have never seen security arrangements the likes of that.”

“We understand Clinton and Obama may be likely to come and they obviously have significant security detail as well.”

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