Prize fund for Open given large increase

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For anyone for whom holding aloft the old silver jug is not enough, the financial reward of winning golf's oldest crown is being brought into line with the other majors. For the second year running, prize-money at the Open has been given a significant boost by the Royal and Ancient.

This year's winner of the 126th Championship at Royal Troon will receive pounds 250,000, out of a total purse of pounds 1.6m. Exactly double John Daly's winnings in 1995, the first prize shows an increase of pounds 50,000 on what Tom Lehman took home last year. Nick Faldo won pounds 300,000 at the US Masters and Steve Jones pounds 283,000 at the US Open.

Further down the field, all those making the cut will receive at least pounds 5,250, while the leading non-qualifiers can earn up to pounds 1,000. Previously, all those who missed the cut received pounds 650. "We believe that the Open should continue to review the prize-money, not only at the top but throughout the field," Michael Bonallack, the secretary of the R&A, said.

"When combined with our far-reaching exemption policy and in recognition of the cost of competing in the championship for overseas players, we feel that we have put in place those two elements which effectively will maintain the international strength of the field."