The Open Championship was last held in Northern Ireland in 1951 and the champion earned 300£ (or roughly $11,000 today). Max Faulkner surely cherished clutching the Claret Jug as he stood on the 18th green at Royal Portrush and the winner’s check was a welcome sight as well. However, when compared to the $1.8 million Jordan Spieth collected for winning last summer at Royal Birkdale, the paltry pay Faulkner received reflects the immense growth professional golf has enjoyed during the last 66 years.
I was very disappointed to learn today that Padraig Harrington was disqualified from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship after the first round. After opening with a fantastic 7 under par 65, Harrington signed his card and presumed everything was in order. Unfortunately he was notified by e-mail from the European Tour around 6pm that there had been a rule infringement during his round and that there was TV evidence of the incident. Click here for details on what actually happened.