Tennis

The Open: a record jackpots, audience boom

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A prize pool of $16,500,000, up $2,500,000 from 2022, of which $3,000,000 will go to the winner. Record figures for The Open 2023, the fourth and last major of the men’s golf season. Never in the history of the tournament, now in its 151st edition, has there ever been such a large prize pool. Super figures, in any case not yet at the level of those established, for each match, by the Arab Superleague (20,000,000 average per tournament).

The Open, schedule

But in England, at Royal Liverpool GC, there will also be the crowd for special occasions. 260,000 spectators are expected until Sunday in Hoylake, a town of 5,710 inhabitants in the county of Merseyside.

The Open Championship, or simply The Open (often referred to as the British Open outside the United Kingdom), is one of the most important golf competitions in the world, as well as the oldest of the four existing Major tournaments: the first edition was disputed in 1860.

The only major to be played outside the United States, the Open Championship is held annually in July on English, Scottish or Northern Irish links courses and is administered by the R&A, which is based in St. Andrews.

The tournament was first held in October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club on Scotland’s west coast, with eight participants playing each other in one day over a distance of 36 holes. The competition was born as an attempt to identify the new golf champion following the death of Allan Robertson, considered the best player of his time and who died in 1859; the first winner was Willie Park Sr., who beat Tom Morris Sr. by two strokes. The following year the tournament became open to non-professional players as well. From 1871 the Open was not organized by Prestwick Golf Club alone, but the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers of Muirfiled joined the Royal and Ancient Golf Club became the only tournament organizer since 1920. In 1892 the competition was extended to 72 holes, while two years later the first edition of an Open outside Scotland was held at Royal St George’s Golf Club, England; in 1898 the cut was introduced after two laps of the field.

The tournament has always been played since 1860 except for four occasions: in 1871, when no agreement was found on the new prize for the champion; between 1915 and 1919 due to World War I, between 1939 and 1946 due to World War II, and in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it counts, as of 2021, 149 editions.

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