The Open Championship in St Andrews brought £140 million into the Scottish economy last year, according to new research.

A report, commissioned by golf’s governing body the R&A, showed spending by visitors to Scotland for the tournament generated £88 million – nearly double the £47.5 million achieved in 2010 when the event was last held at the Old Course.

St Andrews, which is known around the world as the home of golf, hosted the 144th Open in July, with American Zach Johnson winning the famous Claret Jug trophy.

Admissions topped more than 237,000 over the course of the event, with 93,000 fans flocking to the Fife town for the event, including 26,400 from overseas.

Separate research by Kantar Media Sport Intelligence suggested the event, which was broadcast to more than 500 million homes worldwide, generated a further £52 million in marketing benefit .

The economic impact assessment, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University’s sport industry research centre, estimated the benefit to Fife alone was about £52 million.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told STV:

“We all know that golf and its origins are synonymous with Scotland, but these excellent figures show that the connection between the game and its spiritual home is as strong and productive as ever.

“[Visitors] have the opportunity to experience not only one of the finest courses in the world, but also take in such a stunning setting on the Fife coast.”

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