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You could imagine Old Tom Morris spinning in his grave at the very idea of it - cash rewards for the most British of golfing events being paid in dollars.

Jordan Spieth, winner of the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, has won $1,845,000 (£1.4m) from a total prize fund of $10.25m (£7.9m) tournament organisers the R&A has announced; but why the amount will be paid in dollars and not in sterling? Whatever happened to sterling? The answer came from Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient.

"We want to make sure the prize money for the Open Championship is commensurate with its status in the world of golf," he said. "Last year, there was a very significant change in the sterling-dollar exchange rate that caused an anomaly." But Slumbers went on: "So we had to take a decision. Do we adopt a policy to adjust the sterling pool or move to dollars? On balance, we decided that in this global business that is golf, dollars is the main currency."

Making the switch from sterling to dollars had been on the agenda since the fall in the value of the pound following the vote to leave the European Union last June. Speaking in February, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said it was a "significant issue" for the only major championship staged outside of the United States. Slumbers said on Wednesday: "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." Brooks Koepka won a record $2.16m (£1.67m) for his US Open victory at Erin Hills last month, while Henrik Stenson won £1.175m for his win at Royal Troon in 2016.

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