July 21, 2015
GOLF: American Zach Johnson wins the 2015
by Mark Sandritter
It was an exciting final round at the 2015 British Open on Monday with a host of players making runs at the top of the leaderboard. Several led throughout the day and for nearly all of the round, multiple players were within a stroke of the lead. In the end Zach Johnson prevailed at St. Andrews to win the Claret Jug and $1.8 million in first-place prize money from one of the most lucrative purses in golf.
Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen and Johnson battled for the title in a three-man playoff. Johnson ultimately prevailed to hoist the Claret Jug. The victory is the most lucrative in his career. Losing in a playoff is a brutal reminder of how close you came to winning a major championship, but the runners up will walk away with nice consolation prizes. Each player will receive more than $835,000. The win gives Johnson more than $37 million in career winnings.
The Open Championship purse increased to $10 million in 2015, up from $9.19 million last season. The move was in response to other major championships previously moving to a $10 million purse. The PGA Championship and Players Championship both increased to $10 million purses with $1.8 million going to the winner last year. The Masters and U.S. Open followed suit this year and now the British Open joined them. The result is a nice boost for the winner. Rory McIlory took home $1.66 million for his British Open win last season.
The purse wasn’t lucrative for just the winner. Ties factor heavily into the final purse, but the payout was designed for nine players to take home $250,000 or more. A solo second-place finish would have been worth more than $1 million while more than 20 players will walk away with a six-figure payday. For some, the payout will be one of the biggest of their careers. For others, it’s another nice deposit in a lucrative career. Jordan Spieth entered the tournament leading the money list on the PGA Tour with $8.7 million in on-course earnings this year. He came up short of winning a third straight major, but still collected a nice payday, finishing tied for fourth and moving his season earnings to more than $9 million. No player has topped the $10 million mark since Tiger Woods in 2009.
A total of 80 players made the cut at St. Andrews, but only 75 are eligible for a piece of the prize money. Five amateurs made the cut and are not eligible to receive a payout. Heading into Monday, it looked like Paul Dunne might have to turn down a significant amount of money. He was tied for the 54-hole lead. He faltered some on Monday, but was still one of four amateurs to finish in the top 30. Their would-be winnings will instead be divided among the rest of the field, giving the other 75 competitors a slightly larger payday.