The prize money represents an increase of US$950,000 on last year's Open at Royal Troon, when winner Henrik Stenson took home US$1,549,590 for first place.
The total purse is the fourth highest in professional golf behind the US Open (US$12 million) and the Players Championship and PGA Championship (US$10.5 million).
Announcing the increase and the decision to promote the prize money in US dollars, R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said, “We are operating in an increasingly global marketplace and have made the decision to award the prize fund in US dollars in recognition of the fact that it is the most widely adopted currency for prize money in golf.”
While the prize money has increased only slightly since the Open was last played at Royal Birkdale in 2008 (winner Padraig Harrington earned US$1.5 million), when Mark O’Meara won in 1998 at the previous occasion the event was held at the Southport layout, he pocketed just US$493,000 which reflects the huge impact Tiger Woods had on purses during his lengthy reign at the top of the game.
The 10th placed player at this year’s Open Championship will receive US$213,000 compared to the $US45,000 he would have received in 1998.
Just making the cut in 2017 will guarantee a player US$23,600.
HARRINGTON ATTEMPTS MIRACLE 5-WOOD FROM 2008 OPEN AT BIRKDALE