Numbers were down on practice days and each day of competition, although perhaps surprisingly the biggest single drop occurred on Friday, with 43,183 spectators at Hoylake, down 7,343 from 2006.
Despite Saturday's weather forecast of a "significant risk" of thunderstorms prompting the R&A to switch to a two-tee start for the first time in championship history, 39,398 fans made the journey to the course, just 4,714 fewer than in 2006.
It is not clear whether Sunday's figure of 42,149, down 2,008 on eight years ago, included the spectator who was ejected on the 16th hole after heckling Ulsterman McIlroy during the final round of play.
"He was giving me grief all day, actually," McIlroy said. "I sort of put up with it for the first 15 holes and then he deliberately coughed on my downswing on the 16th tee.
"I still hit a great drive but I heard it halfway down and I knew who it was. So I turned around and got him chucked out, thankfully."
The figures are still a major improvement on last year, when 'just' 142,036 spectators were at Muirfield to see Phil Mickelson's victory. The R&A said a heatwave could have contributed to the low attendance, although ticket prices of £75 were also blamed.
COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? firstname.lastname@example.org