Kane wants 80,000 fans at Adare

By Brian Keogh

Adare Manor boss Tom Kane is hoping for a bumper 80,000 crowd at this week's Irish Open.

And the former US marine corp pilot has already been encouraged by healthy ticket sales for the €2.5 million event.

He said "It's very encouraging. We are north of €100,000 in pre-ticket sales which is at least 4,000 sold so far.

"That's pretty good considering they only sold €170,000 worth of tickets for the whole Irish Open last year."

Kane is not worried about the strength of the field, which features just two of the world's top 50 in Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood.

And he stubbornly refuses to go down the appearance money route to attract more star players.

He said: "This is a European Tour event and our aim is to bring the price fund to €4 million within three years.

"It we can do that the winner will take home €640,000, which it not too far off €1 million.

"I was delighted to see Lee Westwood win in Spain yesterday and we are really looking forward to Padraig getting here.

"If we get the weather we could have 80,000 here and the gate will be €1.6 million, which will help drive the prize fund.

"Every ticket that is sold will go into the prize fund and five us more funds for next year.

"But the crows also helps create ambience and these guys are performers. No-one likes to perform on an empty stage."