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Biting Back: Portush must look at bigger picture

By Jim Gracey

Portrush deserves all the plaudits heaped upon it for its handling of the resoundingly successful Irish Open.

But some locals lamenting they didn't make as much money as expected on the back of the magnificent spectacle really do need to look at the bigger picture.

The trouble with Portrush, it used to be said, was that it always seemed taken unawares by the crowds flocking in for events like the North West 200 and Milk Cup and was consequently unprepared.

As for staging a major golf championship? It may be the game of Kings and commoners but it doesn't do B&Bs, the critics sniffed.

Last week debunked all the doubts.

It's a regrettable fact the traders' takings didn't match the jackpot predicted from 130,000 visitors, the vast majority being day trippers confined to the course.

But Portrush will see the colour of golf’s money in future golf tourism and events and it will be just reward for the remarkable contribution to the game by a town of just 7,000 people.

With Royal Portrush members Stephanie Meadow and Alan Dunbar now holders of the British women’s and men’s amateur championships and Darren Clarke the reigning Open champion, the town now boasts three of golf’s most prestigious trophies, as well as Graeme McDowell’s US Open of 2010. That's a distinction money cannot buy.

Belfast Telegraph

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