THE FAIR WAY

For the first time, the British Open will pay its prize money in dollars instead of pounds

The British Open is the oldest of professional golf’s four major championships, first played in 1860. Prize money for the tournament was introduced a few years later, in 1863, with competitors sharing a purse of £10.

This year, for the first time, the tournament—which begins on July 16th at the Royal Birkdale course—will pay its prize money in dollars, instead of pounds. From a total fund of $10.25 million, the winner will take home $1.845 million.

The change is simply a recognition of the dollar being “the most widely adopted currency for prize money in golf,” according to the tournament’s organizer.

Of course, this decision also comes just over a year after the UK voted to leave the EU, which sparked a sharp plunge in the pound against other major currencies. Last year’s winner, Henrik Stenson, received £1.175 million, worth some $240,000 less than the year before, when converted to dollars and adjusted for inflation. Bad luck, Henrik.

The dollar-denominated top prize this year will be the highest ever in inflation-adjusted terms. Although the pound has since recovered some ground in 2017, the turmoil generated by Brexit has done little to reassure traders, investors, and, apparently, professional golfers that the currency is a reliable store of value.

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