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The British Open is now awarding its prize in dollars after 154 years of using pounds

  • The winner will receive $1,845,000 at this year's British Open at Royal Birkdale golf course in coastal Southport. That translates to £1,422,842 based on today's exchange rates.
  • "We are operating in an increasingly global marketplace," said the organizer of the world's oldest golf major.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson poses for pictures in front of the clubhouse as he kisses the Claret Jug, the trophy for the Champion golfer of the year after winning the 2016 British Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland on July 17, 2016.
Ben Stansall | AFP | Getty Images
Sweden's Henrik Stenson poses for pictures in front of the clubhouse as he kisses the Claret Jug, the trophy for the Champion golfer of the year after winning the 2016 British Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland on July 17, 2016.

In what is perhaps a subtle jab at last year's Brexit decision, the organizers behind the British Open announced this year's prizes will be awarded in dollars, rather than pounds, as has been done previously.

The winner will receive $1,845,000 at the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale golf course in coastal Southport. That translates to £1,422,842 based on today's exchange rates.

The total prize fund will be $10,250,000.

According to Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, the governing body that organizes the event, "We are operating in an increasingly global marketplace and have made the decision to award the prize fund in US dollars in recognition of the fact that it is the most widely adopted currency for prize money in golf."

The British Open is the oldest of golf's four major championships, taking place every year since 1860 except during the world wars. But it wasn't until 1863 that a cash prize was given out. Since then, the prize has always been doled out in pounds. Now, 154 years later, that is changing.

The pound has been on a downward spiral against the dollar since last year's vote for Britain to exit the European Union.

In a twist caused by that plunging exchange rate, last year's winner, Henrik Stenson, received less in dollars than the previous year's winner. The prize money for the winner increased slightly in 2016, but in dollars the prize ended up being about $300,000 less than in 2015.