Almost 40,000 attend NI Open

Michael Hoey, representing Galgorm Castle Golf Club, teeing of in the Northern Ireland Open. INBT33-225AC
Michael Hoey, representing Galgorm Castle Golf Club, teeing of in the Northern Ireland Open. INBT33-225AC

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and Galgorm Castle have emerged as real ‘winners’ at the Northern Ireland Open.

An estimated 39,250 spectators attended during the event – up 5,000 on last year’s attendance. The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, said that the fans were out in force at Galgorm Castle to see a great spectacle.

Winner Clement Sordet who finished -17 for the tournament.'Photographer �Matt Mackey - Presseye.com

Winner Clement Sordet who finished -17 for the tournament.'Photographer �Matt Mackey - Presseye.com

“I congratulate Monsieur Sordet for his close-run victory, beating American contestant John Hahn by just a single shot to claim the title of Northern Ireland Open champion, but also wish to offer my congratulations to everyone at Galgorm Castle,” he said.

“To attract an attendance approaching 40,000 over just three days in Ballymena is a magnificent achievement in itself, and I congratulate the course officials, the organisers, the supporters including Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and all the numerous volunteers for putting on such a fabulous event.

“It certainly showed Mid and East Antrim Borough at its best with even the sun making an appearance over the course of the three days.

“The NI Open attracted significant world-wide interest for the Borough and saw local businesses boosted at the same time, both in the hospitality sector – with hotels, guest houses and the catering industry busy - and in related retail spending.

“There may have been only one NI Open victor, Clement Sordet, but Mid and East Antrim Borough was a ‘winner’ too with all this positive promotion,” he said.