The Open 2013: Muirfield event 'generated £88m for Scotland'

Crowds at Open at Muirfield The Open at Muirfield attracted thousands of spectators

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This year's Open golf championship at Muirfield generated £88m for the Scottish economy, it has been claimed.

A study commissioned by the R&A, which runs the Open, found East Lothian benefited most with more than £17m of new money for the local economy.

Record TV coverage saw this year's tournament appear on 104 channels, with a global audience reach of more than 500 million households.

Experts believe this amounted to £45m worth of promotional activity.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University's Sport Industry Research Centre surveyed more than 2,000 spectators at Muirfield to reach their findings.

The Open, which was played between 14 and 21 July at the East Lothian links, was won by American Phil Mickelson.

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Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, the R&A's executive director, said: "Phil Mickelson's victory enhanced Muirfield's reputation for identifying top-class champions and we are delighted that the championship also delivered a significant benefit to local businesses and the wider community."

John McMillan, East Lothian Council cabinet spokesman for economic development and tourism, said: "The Open Championship at Muirfield was good for business and golfers around the world have had a timely reminder that playing golf in East Lothian should be high on their list of destination choices."

Dr Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland chairman, said: "The Open is staged in Scotland on average six years out of 10 and it is a recurrent reminder to the world that this is the home of golf.

"These figures illustrate the importance of golf and major golf events to the Scottish economy and we look forward to welcoming the world's oldest major back in St Andrews in 2015."

The 143rd Open Championship will be staged at Royal Liverpool from 13 to 20 July next year.

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