Published Wednesday, 18 July 2012
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According to R&A chief executive Peter Dawson, there's a world of difference in hosting a regular European Tour event and hosting a major.
"If you were at the Irish Open and compare it with what we're doing here, we're talking 20,000 grandstand seats - and there, I doubt they had 2,000 at the Irish Open," he said.
"You're talking about a tented village, I would estimate, ten or more times the size it was at the Irish Open.
"And the crowd size at the Irish Open, whilst it was very good, was only as good as perhaps the lowest crowd we expect at an Open venue."
It's going to take some time to come to a view, and the view may be no ... Don't expect anything imminent, that's for sure.
Peter Dawson, R&A
Dawson said he wasn't criticising what he branded a "wonderful course" and a personal favourite - but added that a lot of hugely expensive work would have to be carried out before Royal Portrush could be a "sensible choice".
The R&A also isn't under any pressure to find new venues, with nine - St Andrews, Carnoustie, Muirfield, Troon, Turnberry, Lytham, Birkdale, Hoylake and Sandwich - already in rotation.
But the success of the Irish Open, and the enthusiasm of the local fans in particular, may still work in Royal Portrush's favour further down the line.
The action in this year's Open championship gets underway at Royal Lytham on Thursday, with Northern Ireland's 'Big Three' of defending champ Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell all hopeful of their chances.