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.
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