While the claret jug is the main attraction, the winner of the British Open will get to take home a host of cool prizes (not to mention a healthy paycheck). Here’s everything the Open Champion will claim if he happens to be the lucky bloke to raise the trophy on Sunday.
1. A really cool title: For 12 months, the winner is not-so-humbly referred to as the Champion Golfer of the Year. No disrespect to the winner of the Masters or the U.S. Open, but the name change that comes with winning the Open is enough to make you feel like royalty.
2. A gold medal: Originally given out in 1872, before the claret jug was ready, each subsequent winner of the Open received a gold medal. The leading amateur gets a silver medal.
3. Prizes for UK PGA members: A collection of other goodies awaits a winner if he is a member of the Professional Golfer’s Association (of Great Britain and Ireland). The Ryle Memorial medal (for the winner), the Braid Taylor Memorial Medal (to the highest-finishing PGA member), and the Tooting Bec Cup (awarded to the member with the lowest single round in the championship).
4. A solid paycheck: This year’s winner will receive $1.84 million — and for the first time ever, it will be awarded in U.S. dollars. The runner-up will take home just over $1 million. Last year, Henrik Stenson pocketed $1.52 million.
5. A ticket to play for (almost) life: The Champion Golfer of the Year will be exempt at the Open until they turn 60. Mark O’Meara played his last Open this year.
6. Trips to Augusta and beyond: Not only that, but the British Open winner will earn exemptions to the Masters, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship for five years. Plus, a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
7. Points, points, points: The winner will add 600 FedEx Cup points to his tally, 100 Official World Golf Ranking points, and perhaps more importantly, Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup points.
8. And of course, the claret jug: Since 1873, the Open Champion has awarded what some consider the most coveted trophy in sport. It replaced the Challenge Belt in 1873, but the first name engraved on the cup is none other than Young Tom Morris who won in 1872. The winner gets to retain possession of the trophy for a full year, at which point he must surrender it to the championship and receive a replica for his own uses in return.
Not a bad haul, if you ask us.