By Gary Anderson

June 27 - Claret JugThe Royal & Ancient (R&A) has announced that the prize fund for the 2013 Open Championship has increased by five per cent from last year to a total of £5.25 million ($7.9 million/€6.1 million).

It means that the winner of this year's tournament at Muirfield, due to start on July 18, will collect prize money of £945,000 ($1.4 million/€1.1 million).

The £250,000 ($380,000/€293,000) rise means that The Open is now on a par with golf's other three major tournaments – The US Masters, the US Open and the USPGA Championship – in terms of overall prize money.

The 2013 Open champion will pick up £45,000 ($69,000/€53,000) more than last year's champion, Ernie Els, who received a cheque for £900,000 ($1.4 million/€1.5 million) following his win at Royal Lytham & St Annes, the second time the South African has lifted the Claret Jug.

Earlier this year Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, the organisers of The Open, claimed that it was "very important" for the prize fund of The Open to match what's on offer at the other three majors on the golfing calendar.

"We feel our role is to ensure that the Open Championship is competitive within golf."

Ernie ElsLast year's Open champion, South African Ernie Els, collected a winning cheque for £900,000 following his victory at Royal Lytham & St Annes

Australian Adam Scott and England's Justin Rose both received cheques worth $1.4 million (£950,000/€1.1 million) following their victories at the first two majors of 2013, The US Masters and the US Open, respectively.

Additional money will be allocated to this year's Open Championship prize fund if more than 70 professional golfers qualify for the final two rounds at Muirfield, which will be hosting golf's oldest major championship for the 16th time, and first since 2002.

However, while the four majors, also known as the Grand Slam of golf, may hold the most prestige for players, they are not the most lucrative events in terms of prize funds.

TPC SawgrassThe infamous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, home of the Players Championship

The Players Championship on the PGA Tour of America is recognised as the richest golf tournament in the world.

The event, which is held at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, has a total prize fund of $9.5 million (£6.2 million/€7.3 million).

The BMW Masters, which takes place at the Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, offers the largest winner's purse of any tournament in world golf.

Last year's winner, Peter Hanson from Sweden, collected $2 million (£1.3 million/€1.5 million) for winning the tournament, in its first year as part of the European Tour.

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