2017 British Open purse will have US dollar payouts for the first time

The prize money of The Open will now be paid out in USD and not pounds and 2017 is the oldest major’s largest ever purse.

The ruling organizations in golf and the major tours don’t like to talk about it, but they’re all aware of it. There’s a constant arms race to boast the biggest purses in the game and in recent years, it’s accelerated intensely across the major championships.

The Open Championship’s announcement for this year’s purse is the latest sign of that heightened intensity. The R&A, for the first time ever, will pay out prize money in US dollars. In the release setting the payout amounts for this year, R&A chief Martin Slumbers said the move from pounds to dollars was a reflection of USD being the most commonly accepted form of payout currency.

“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,” Slumbers said.

The move to dollars may also be a reaction to the hit the purse took, relative to the other majors, after Brexit’s impact on currency last summer. The 2016 purse actually went up £200,000 but the payouts in dollars were much less. After converting pounds for dollars, Henrik Stenson actually earned about $ 300,000 less than Zach Johnson the prior year at St. Andrews. Stenson banked about $ 1.55 million in USD for his 2016 Open win.

The purse was supposed to be the equivalent of about $ 10 million USD, which had become a momentary threshold of agreement among the four majors until this year when the U.S. Open made the dramatic jump to $ 12 million. This is, of course, not the “British” Open but just The Open and the R&A is quick to remind you that it is the most international major championship in golf. So they were not beholden to necessarily paying out in the local currency and this year they decided to just do away with all the conversion messiness and use the currency of the other three majors.

The total purse will be $ 10.25 million with a $ 1,845,000 payout to the champion golfer of the year. That’s a huge increase over last year’s step back, but Stenson and his $ 48,271,731 in career earnings probably don’t care too much.

We’re not yet sure what the PGA will announce as its purse, but The Open’s $ 10.25 million is slightly smaller than the first two majors of the season. The Masters bumped its purse up to $ 11 million in April and, as noted above, the U.S. Open threw down the gauntlet in the offseason with an announcement that they were spreading out some of the sugar from that billion-dollar TV deal with FOX and making the jump from $ 10 to $ 12 million.

The Players Championship, which used to boast of having the biggest purse in the game, had $ 10.5 million in prize money this year. It was The Players and PGA Championship that really ignited this recent arms race in 2014, with a joint PGA Tour and PGA of America announcement that they were, in conjunction, pushing their purses to $ 10 million. We’ve gone up and up every year since and now we have The Open making the adaptation to US Dollars. Here are your payout totals for the top 70 from that $ 10.25 million purse:

1. $ 1,845,000

2. $ 1,067,000

3. $ 684,000

4. $ 532,000

5. $ 428,000

6. $ 371,000

7. $ 318,000

8. $ 268,000

9. $ 235,000

10. $ 213,000

11. $ 193,000

12. $ 172,000

13. $ 161,000

14. $ 151,000

15. $ 141,000

16. $ 129,500

17. $ 123,000

18. $ 117,000

19. $ 112,000

20. $ 107,000

21. $ 102,000

22. $ 97,000

23. $ 92,000

24. $ 87,000

25. $ 84,000

26. $ 80,000

27. $ 77,000

28. $ 74,000

29. $ 71,000

30. $ 68,000

31. $ 65,500

32. $ 62,000

33. $ 60,000

34. $ 58,000

35. $ 56,000

36. $ 53,500

37. $ 51,000

38. $ 49,000

39. $ 47,000

40. $ 45,500

41. $ 43,500

42. $ 41,500

43. $ 39,500

44. $ 37,500

45. $ 35,500

46. $ 33,500

47. $ 32,000

48. $ 30,800

49. $ 29,500

50. $ 28,900

51. $ 28,200

52. $ 27,600

53. $ 27,200

54. $ 26,800

55. $ 26,400

56. $ 26,000

57. $ 25,600

58. $ 25,500

59. $ 25,400

60. $ 25,200

61. $ 25,000

62. $ 24,900

63. $ 24,800

64. $ 24,700

65. $ 24,500

66. $ 24,400

67. $ 24,200

68. $ 24,000

69. $ 23,800

70. $ 23,600

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