Published Monday, 02 July 2012
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More than 130,000 spectators travelled to the North Coast for the competition which culminated on Sunday with Welshman Jamie Donaldson crowned champion.
It was the first Irish Open to be held in NI since 1953 and has been hailed as a major success, after it became the first regular event in European Tour history to completely sell out.
Ms Foster, who presented the trophy to the winner, said positive images beamed across the globe have been a great advertisement for the region.
"Portrush has certainly lived up to its billing as being golf's Major golf capital of the world," said the DUP minister.
"Over the last six days, including the practice day and Pro-Am over 130,000 people have been through the gates of Royal Portrush golf club. That is an incredible figure and is proof of the excitement that has surrounded the tournament.
"For Northern Ireland, we stand to reap significant benefits to the local economy from the huge crowds that are attending and enjoying the north coast.
"Add in the global TV coverage showing Northern Ireland as a world class golf destination and a place that should be on every tourist's must-see list and there is no doubt the Executive will receive a great return on its investment."
The PSNI played a "low key but significant" role at the tournament, making two arrests in relation to alleged counterfeit tickets.
However officers have praised the behaviour of those attending.
"Northern Ireland has proven beyond any doubt that it can deliver a world class event," said Chief Superintendent Chris Noble
"The success of the Irish Open is very much down to the many month's of detailed preparation, involving a whole range of partners, and many long hours during the event week.
"This was another successful event for the North Coast area following on from the North West 200 and the Olympic Torch Run and concert.
"I want to pay tribute to my officers and staff who put in long and demanding hours to ensure this was the most successful core golf tournament the European Tour has ever hosted."
The victory for 36-year-old Donaldson was his first European Tour title at the 255th attempt, while 2007 winner Padraig Harrington was the best of the Irish players finishing six strokes off the lead at 12 under.
Open champion Darren Clarke shot 71 for four under on Sunday to finish 39th, while Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy had their best days of the week.