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Open prize money boosted to 1.75 million

St Andrews, Scotland - This year's Open champion at Royal Birkdale will collect a cheque for 300,000 - the sum the entire field received just 15 years ago.

The first prize is up 50,000 on the amount Justin Leonard received at Royal Troon last summer and the total fund goes up by 7.5% to 1.75million.

Every player who survives the halfway cut is guaranteed at least 5,600, which is more than Lee Trevino's reward for winning the title at the Southport course in 1971.

This will be the eighth time Birkdale has played host to the championship. Peter Thomson won 750 in 1954 and 1,750 in 1965, Arnold Palmer 1,400 in 1961, Johnny Miller 7,500 in 1976, Tom Watson 40,000 in 1983 and Ian Baker-Finch 90,000 seven years ago.

Watson is the only previous champion at the course likely to be in the starting line-up this time, Baker-Finch having already announced his game is not fit for an Open. The Australian quit the tournament after an opening 92 last year.