Irish Open purse increased to over €5 million

Significant increase in prize money should help Irish golf’s flagship event attract a stronger international field

Graeme McDowell:  has put his hand up to host the Irish Open next year  wherever the tournament takes place.   Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Graeme McDowell: has put his hand up to host the Irish Open next year wherever the tournament takes place. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

It’s not just about the money but it helps – a lot – and, through the new strategic alliance between the European Tour and the PGA Tour, next year’s DDF Irish Open has received a hugely significant injection of financial support which will see the 2022 tournament offer a purse of €5.06 million ($6 million).

The increase in prize money will likely have the knock-on benefit of the Irish Open attracting a stronger international field, although the where and the when of how the tournament fits into the schedule has yet to be determined.

The European Tour is expected to announce its schedule for the first portion of the new season in the coming months with the full itinerary to be finalised later in the year.

The Irish Open occupied a slot immediately ahead of the Scottish and British Opens this year. Mount Juliet – which hosted last month’s staging, won by Australian Lucas Herbert – is again in the frame but there is also the prospect of Portmarnock returning as a potential venue given it has opened its doors to women members.

Graeme McDowell has put his hand up to be tournament host wherever the tournament takes place.

The new alliance between the powerhouse PGA Tour, based in the United States, and the European Tour has resulted in three tournaments being co-sanctioned: the Barbasol and Barracuda Championships in the US, and the Genesis Scottish Open, to be played on July 7th-10th, which will also remain as a Rolex Series event in the week ahead of the 150th Open at St Andrews.

The increase in prize money for the Irish Open (which won’t be co-sanctioned and will remain a standalone European Tour event) is also on the back of that strategic alliance and it will bring the tournament back towards the €6 million purse that was on offer at Lahinch in 2019 when Jon Rahm won.

In 2020, affected by the onset of Covid, the Irish Open prize fund at Galgorm Castle was €1.25 million; and, this year, at Mount Juliet, it was €3 million. Next year’s event will edge it over €5 million.

“There has been considerable collaboration behind the scenes between our two tours since the alliance was unveiled [last November] and we are delighted to share these initial developments, which demonstrate our commitment to working together for the betterment of our sport globally,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, in acknowledging what he called the “enhancement” of the Scottish Open and “a strengthening of the Irish Open for our members”.

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