Record prize for K Club event

 

IN the countdown to Ryder Cup selection, record prize money will be on offer in the Smurfit European Open at The K Club on August 21st-24th. An increase of 13 per cent on last year means that a fund of £850,000 will have a top award of £141,660.

This compares with the £125,000 cheque which Per-Ulrik Johansson collected last September when an 11-under-par aggregate of 277 gave him a one-stroke winning margin over Ryder Cup colleague Costantino Rocca. As it happens, rescheduling of the European Open has made it the penultimate qualifying event for this year's team.

This will be the 20th staging of an event that was launched at Walton Heath, in 1978, when Bobby Wadkins, of the US, beat Bernard Gallacher and Gil Morgan in a play-off to gain his only tournament victory.