The increase for 2018 represents an increase of just $250,000 on last year’s purse but a look back to earlier Open Championships at Carnoustie tells the story of the rapid increase in prizemoney over the last forty years or so.
In 1975 Tom Watson earned the equivalent of just US$16,500 from a purse of US$165,000 for defeating Jack Newton in a playoff.
24 years later in 1999, Paul Lawrie won a playoff over Jean Van de Velde and Justin Leonard and secured a cheque for US$546,000 from a total purse of US$3,058,000.
Eight years later in 2007 Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff to win the first of his two Open Championships and won $1,542,450 of the purse of $8,177,452
Now, eleven years later, the increase has slowed from the US$10,250,000 last year an increase of just 2.5 % from the purse at Royal Birkdale.
Both the US Open (US$12 million) and the Masters (US$11 million) carry greater overall purses than the Open Championship and the PGA Championship which are both at US$10.5 million.
Not that a cheque for US$1,890,000 is anything to be sneezed at and of course the title of the Open Champion carries a lot more than just the prize-money on offer in the week of the event.
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