The British Open Championship has long lagged behind the other three majors in terms of total purse payout, but the R&A has increased the 2019 British Open Championship prize money to $10.75 million to keep within touch of the other majors.
The 2019 British Open Championship first-prize payout will be $1,935,000, with 18 percent of the purse going to the winner at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, which hosts the event for the first time since 1951.
The runner-up at what’s now the final major of the men’s season will win $1.12 million.
In 2018, the British Open Championship purse was $10.5 million, meaning the purse has increased $250,000 year-over-year. This doesn’t keep pace with the USGA’s US Open, which increased its 2019 US Open purse $500,000 to $12.5 million, tying it with the PGA Tour’s The Players Championship as the biggest purse in golf.
The PGA Championship and Masters both had 2019 purses of $11 million, still putting them ahead of the British Open Championship among the four men’s major championship purses.
The R&A has taken in recent years to quoting the British Open Championship purse in US dollars, in part a reflection of the golf world using speaking in dollars at the majors and in part because of the dramatic movement in exchange rates after the 2016 Brexit vote.
While the British Open may lack the same purses as its major peers, it does have the richest history of the four major championships. First played in 1860, the British Open will be played for the 150th time in 2021 on the Old Course at St. Andrews, as the Open hasn’t been held for 10 different years in history for various reasons, including World Wars I and II, and there not being a trophy available for the 1871 championship.
Since there wasn’t a trophy for the 1871 event, in 1872, the modern Claret Jug was introduced as the tournament trophy.