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Big increase in purse for Open Championship

The 131st Open Championship, which will be played at the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Muirfield from 18th to 21st July will carry record prize money of £3.8 million, an increase of £567,000 (17.5%) on last year at Lytham.

The winner will receive £700,000, up £100,000 on 2001, but more significantly this represents an increase of 100% on the cheque that Paul Lawrie took home from Carnoustie in 1999.

In addition to increases in prize money down to 70th place where any player completing 72 holes will receive £8,500, prize money for non-qualifiers has more than doubled so that the player in last (156th) place will now win £2,000.

"We believe that The Royal and Ancient should continue to review Open Championship prize money not only at the top but throughout the field," commented David Hill, Championship Secretary of the R&A.

"In particular, we recognise the cost of competing in the Championship for overseas players and have therefore put measures in place which will offset the costs for those players and will maintain the international strength of the field."

The recent dramatic rise in prize money, almost doubling in the past three years, is highlighted by the amount Nick Faldo received at Muirfield in 1992 for the last of his three Open wins. Then, he received £95,000 out of a total prize fund of £950,000.

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