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Winners’ cheque at the Open breaks £1m barrier

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) has announced that this year’s Open Championship will award the winner a cheque of more than £1m (€1.38m/$1.56m) for the first time in its history.

The R&A is the organiser of the Open, which is the UK’s major. The champion of the 144th Open, which takes place at St Andrews in Scotland, will earn £1.15m – a £175,000 increase on the prize money landed by Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy last year.

Ahead of the Travelers Championship, the first of three Open Qualifying Series events on the PGA Tour, the R&A said that the overall prize fund for this year’s Open Championship will rise to £6.3m, an increase of £900,000 on the 2014 total. The runner-up will receive £653,000.

Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, said: “The Open is one of the world’s pre-eminent sporting events. The Championship represents the pinnacle for the world’s greatest golfers and this increase is appropriate for an event with the Open’s global appeal.”

The 2015 Open takes place from July 16-19 with American Jordan Spieth (pictured) looking to follow on from his wins at the US Open and the Masters this year.