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British Open 2021: Purse increased by $1 million for 2021 at Royal St. George's

July 01, 2021

David Cannon/R&A

The Open Championship is returning after a one-year hiatus with a significant bump in the size of the purse. The R&A announced on Wednesday that this year’s prize fund will total $11.5 million, an increase from the $10.5 million doled out two years ago at Royal Portrush.

The increase also means that the winner's payout will exceed $2 million for the first time in the history of golf’s oldest major championship. Shane Lowry received $1.935 million for winning the Claret Jug in 2019, and this year’s winner will earn $2.070 million at Royal St. George’s.

The four majors, and the Players Championship, have been in a bit of a purse arms race over the past decade, with almost annual increases since a joint PGA of America and PGA Tour announcement in 2013 that they were bumping the purses of two of their marquee events, the PGA Championship and the Players, to $10 million. That was the first public commitment to an eight-figure total at these men’s majors (and the Players). That $10-million figure seems almost quaint now in 2021, with the Players boasting a massive $15 million purse. Even the no-cut WGCs now exceed that mark, with purses of $10.5 million in 2021.

The Open's increase to $11.5 million will put it equal with the Masters payout total this year. That figure is the lowest among the men’s majors. Here’s that breakdown of the majors, and the Players:

  • Players Championship: $15 million/$2.7 million for the winner
  • U.S. Open: $12.5 million/$2.25 million
  • PGA Championship: $12 million/$2.16 million
  • Masters: $11.5 million/$2.07 million
  • The Open: $11.5 million/$2.07 million

Of course, prize money does not purely reflect the stature and import of a championship. But the increases and jostling among some of golf’s most prestigious events continues apace.

“We have increased the prize fund for The Open this year and believe that it fully reflects the Championship’s stature in world sport,” said R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers. “As the only men’s major championship played outside of America, The Open has a global role to play and we are determined to continue to attract the top players. We are further enhancing the status of our professional championships at the same time as making good progress towards our investment of £200 million over ten years in growing golf around the world.”

The Open shifted to awarding its prize money in U.S. dollars back in 2017, a significant change then but one that Slumbers said again came due to it being the world’s major and USD being the most prevalent currency for golf purses at the highest levels of the game.

The Open was the only men’s golf major that was not played last year due to the pandemic. And after that unexpected two-year wait, the players will have a little more cash in the pot to play for in England. Here are the payout totals for the top 70 players who make the cut this month at Royal St. George’s.

1 -- $2,070,000 

2 -- $1,198,000

3 -- $768,000

4 -- $597,000

5 -- $480,000

6 -- $416,000

7 -- $357,000

8 -- $301,500

9 -- $264,000

10 -- $238,500

11 -- $217,000

12 -- $192,500

13 -- $180,750

14 -- $170,000

15 -- $157,750

16 -- $145,000

17 -- $138,000

18 -- $131,500

19 -- $126,000

20 -- $120,000

21 -- $114,500

22 -- $108,500

23 -- $103,000

24 -- $97,000

25 -- $94,000

26 -- $90,000

27 -- $86,500

28 -- $83,500

29 -- $80,000

30 -- $76,000

31 -- $73,250

32 -- $69,500

33 -- $67,250

34 -- $65,250

35 -- $63,000

36 -- $60,500

37 -- $57,500

38 -- $54,750

39 -- $52,750

40 -- $51,000

41 -- $49,000

42 -- $46,500

43 -- $44,500

44 -- $42,000

45 -- $39,500

46 -- $37,500

47 -- $36,000

48 -- $34,500

49 -- $33,000

50 -- $32,250

51 -- $31,500

52 -- $31,000

53 -- $30,500

54 -- $30,000

55 -- $29,500

56 -- $29,100

57 -- $28,800

58 -- $28,600

59 -- $28,400

60 -- $28,200

61 -- $28,000

62 -- $27,900

63 -- $27,800

64 -- $27,700

65 -- $27,500

66 -- $27,300

67 -- $27,100

68 -- $26,900

69 -- $26,700

70 -- $26,500