The Knoxville News Sentinel Open is drawing in crowds to Farragut and Turkey Creek businesses

7:41 PM, Aug 26, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Knoxville Sentinel Open provides economic boost

Tourney is drawing in crowds to Farragut and Turkey Creek businesses

John Morgan said paying attention to the nearby Knoxville News Sentinel Open has made him want to work on his golf game. At the simulated putting green in Edwin Watts Golf in Turkey Creek, he said he's looking for "putters; looking for new drivers, for everything, I can always upgrade."

It seems many people, either local or out-of-town, also want to upgrade. Edwin Watts Golf manager Brian Lograsso said business has been especially good in the last week.

"It's been pretty steady traffic, during tournament hours," said Lograsso. "We see a bit of a lull before and after. You know, we see a little traffic for sure." The shop is about three miles from the Fox's Den Country Club, where the tournament is playing.

While stores are doing well, spectators are also hungry. Nearby restaurants are also seeing an increase in customer traffic.

"We have a lot of pros, a lot of caddies come through," said Wild Wings manager David Levins. "To tell you the truth, the Knoxville Open is really big for us."

However, some worried that there wasn't going to be a 21st year for the Nationwide Tour's stop in East Tennessee. It was not until the Knoxville News Sentinel gave major backing to the Open that the game would continue.

"Business has certainly picked up over the last year," said Lograsso. "2009 was a little off for us, on the slow side, and we're seeing that for sure."

Golf enthusiasts, like Morgan notice an increase in attention to the tournament.

"I'm excited for sure," Morgan said. "I heard more about this year than in past years."

Besides the so-called rebirth of the Open, some feel that John Daly's visit to Knoxville is also garnering a lot of attention this year.

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