How Does The Open Prize Money Compare To Other Sports?

A look at how the $3m first prize for winning The Open stacks up against other individual sports

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The winner of The Open in 2023 will bank a first prize of $3m
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The winner of The Open at Royal Liverpool this year will take home a whopping $3m first prize (approximately £2.3m), which is a record for golf’s oldest Major Championship.

Since the 1860s, The Open's purse has risen from £10 To $16.5m. It’s the Claret Jug that everyone wants, but there’s no hiding the fact that the players can also earn themselves a very healthy payday on the links this week. 

“Our aim is to ensure The Open remains at the pinnacle of world golf and we have almost doubled the prize fund since 2016," said R&A CEO Martin Slumbers, prior to the 151st Open Championship at Hoylake.

"While we are seeing substantial increases in prize money across the men’s professional game, we are fulfilling our wider obligation to the sport by elevating the AIG Women’s Open, strengthening pathways in the elite amateur game and encouraging more people around the world to play golf.

"We believe that getting this balance right is vital to the long-term future of the sport.”

Today’s elite Tour professionals can earn vast sums of money, especially those who have moved to LIV, where the prize funds dwarf most professional tournaments around the globe.

This isn’t breaking news, but how does the Open Championship prize money compare to some of the biggest purses and first prizes in other individual sports?

Prize Money In Other Sports

Wimbledon champions Carlos Alcaraz and Marketa Vondrousova

Wimbledon champions Carlos Alcaraz and Marketa Vondrousova

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The prize funds in golf have never been bigger. Today's best players, and even those further down the world rankings, have a licence to print money.

The biggest names in boxing also fight for eye-watering sums. Away from the ring, only really tennis comes close to matching golf in terms of prize money, with the men's and women's champions at Wimbledon earlier this month both receiving £2.35m.

  • Tennis: 2023 Wimbledon (men’s and women’s singles) total prize money approximately £32m, first prize £2.35m each
  • Boxing: 2022, Anthony Joshua pocketed a reported £33m for his fight against Oleksandr Usyk
  • Horseracing: 2023, the winner of the Dubai World Cup 2023 took home around $7.5m, with approximately 10 per cent going to the winning jockey
  • Horseracing: 2023, Grand National, total prize money £1m, first prize £561,300 split between connections
  • Darts: 2023 PDC World Championship, £500,000 first prize for winner Michael Smith
  • Cycling: 2023, total prize pot of the Tour de France €2.5m, with the winner receiving €500,000
  • Snooker: 2023, World Championship, £500,000 first prize for winner Luca Brecel
  • World Pool Championship: 2023, $60,000 first prize for winner Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz
  • Bowling: 2023, USBC Masters, $100,000 for winner Anthony Simonsen
Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.