The winner of next week’s Open championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes will take home £250,000 less than Roger Federer and Serena Williams each collected for winning the men’s and women’s singles at Wimbledon.
The first prize offered for whomever claims the Claret Jug has been capped at £900,000, the same as in 2011, when Darren Clarke claimed an emotional title for Northern Ireland at Royal St George’s.
Perhaps it’s R&A’s way of reflecting the economic times we live in - with millionaire golfers already paid huge sums in prize money and endorsements while many golf fans are suffering hardship.
In comparison the Wimbledon’s singles champions won £1,150,000 - with another £50,000 added to both Federer’s and Williams’ bank accounts from seven matches, compared to the previous year.
As for the Open runner-up it remains at £520,000 - £55,000 less than Andy Murray pocketed for his courageous defeat. The top ten at Lytham all receive a six figure sum.
Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.
We wonder by how much South West London gets an annual boost having staged the tennis bonanza for a fortnight for the past 130-odd years.
If more than 70 professional golfers qualify for the final two rounds at Royal Lytham, additional prize money will be added. Prize money will decrease by £100 per qualifying place above 70 to a minimum of £9,000.
Even if pro golfers miss the cut after 36 holes, they are guaranteed a pay cheque. The leading 10 pros and ties receive £3,500; the next 20 get £2,850 and the next 20 receive £2,600. The remainder get £2,350.
First round losers in the singles at Wimbledon each received £14,500 - an increase of 26% on the previous year.
FOOTNOTE: Tiger Woods will be without his regular practice partner for the first time in many years. Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Open champion at Royal Birkdale, has withdrawen because of injury. He will not be replaced in the event.