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Portrush on the money with record £8.48m Open payday

 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

By Paul Kelly

Next month's eagerly awaited Open Championship return to Royal Portrush will be the richest in the 148-year history of the tournament.

On top of record-breaking ticket sales, with all four days sold out, the Royal & Ancient organisers have now announced a total prize fund of £8.48m, an increase of approximately £200,000 from last year.

The Royal Portrush winner on Sunday, July 21, will naturally walk away with the lion's share, collecting £1.5m, an increase of £35,500 from 2018 but it is by no means the biggest prize in world golf.

Of the majors, the US Open is the most lucrative, with Gary Woodland winning almost £1.8m for his recent success at Pebble Beach.

On the PGA Tour, the largest prize of £1.8m went to Rory McIlroy at The Players Championship in March.

In terms of prize money alone, The Open has come a long way since it was last held at Royal Portrush.

The total prize fund back in 1951 was £1,700 with winner Max Faulkner, pocketing the grand sum of £300.

This year, even the player who finishes in 70th place will earn something in the region of £19,500. Prize-money will only be allocated to professionals, so should Holywood's Tom McKibbin make it through final qualifying next week and then go on make the cut at Royal Portrush, he will have to forego any of his hard-earned winnings.

Confirming the prize fund, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: "The Open is a global sporting event and our priority is to ensure that this is reflected in the prize fund. We have a long-term strategy to ensure The Open remains at the forefront of golf and maintains its unique allure in sporting terms.

"We are also committed to investing in our other major championships, especially the AIG Women's British Open."

Lisburn golfer Aaron Marshall won the Irish Boys Open Championship title yesterday by one shot following a dramatic final day at New Forest, Co Westmeath.

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