Prize money at The British Open Championship this July will be a record £4m (€6m), it was revealed today.
The winner at Royal Troon is to receive a cheque for £720,000 (€1.084m), £20,000 (€30,000) more than Ben Curtis earned for his shock victory at Sandwich last summer.
Troon hosts the event for the first time since 1997, when Justin Leonard triumphed.
“We have increased the prize money in line with inflation and this again keeps the (British) Open purse highly competitive,” said Royal and Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson.
At 7,175 yards the links will be 96 yards longer than seven years ago, although the par remains 71.
The tee at the long sixth goes back 24 yards, making it play to 601 yards, the par four 11th is 27 yards longer at 490 yards and the 483-yard 15th has been lengthened by 26 yards.
There are also a number of new bunkers.
Arthur Havers was Troon’s first British Open champion in 1923, followed by Bobby Locke (1950), Arnold Palmer (1962), Tom Weiskopf (1973), Tom Watson (1982), Mark Calcavecchia (1989) and Leonard.
Tiger Woods-mania was at its height in 1997. Three months earlier he had won the Masters – his first major as a professional – by a record 12 shots with a record 18 under par score – but at Troon he managed only 24th place.
Ireland's Darren Clarke led by four at one point, but ended up joint runner-up with Jesper Parnevik, three strokes behind Leonard.
International qualifying has been introduced for the first time this year. The European heat will be at Sunningdale on Monday June 28, the same day as the American qualifier at Congressional in Washington.