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The 2015 British Open’s record prize money, part of a golf ‘arms race’

Johnson of the U.S. celebrates as he holds the Claret Jug after winning the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, ScotlandJohnson of the U.S. celebrates as he holds the Claret Jug after winning the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland
Zach Johnson of the U.S. celebrates as he holds the Claret Jug after winning the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 20, 2015. Photograph by Paul Childs — Reuters

Tension builds in St. Andrews as a handful of players could still win the Britsh Open, according to the tournament’s leaderboard. Not only is the Claret Jug, the nickname for the Golf Championship Trophy presented to the winner, up for grabs, but so is a top prize of $1.8 million out of the $9.8 million total.

Well, it may be up for grabs by the winner. Both professionals and amateurs play. According to tournament rules, if an amateur wins, the top prize is split proportionately among all the pros who qualified.

But whether split up or taken by a single player, that’s a lot of money. In fact, that’s about $1.4 million more than last year.

Golf has seen a prize arms race recently. In 2014, the PGA Championship increased its prize money to $10 million. The Masters did the same this year, and $1.8 million went to the winner. Next came the U.S. Open and, now, the British Open.

Golf is a popular sport, both to watch and play. And the demographic is a desirable one for many companies. There are 22.5 million golfers in the U.S., according to American Golf, which owns and operates more than 90 clubs and public courses. The average household income is $95,000 and the average golfer spends $2,776 annually on the game. If there’s money floating around, that’s where advertisers are bound. More advertisers mean more money available to tournaments to attract the best golfers and generate public interest.

Fortune took a look at the top ten tournaments from the golf fan’s view, according to Bleacher Report, and pulled together a list of the prizes they offer.

The Masters

When: April
Total Purse: $9.8 million
Top Prize: $1.8 million

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

When: February
Total Purse: $6.8 million
Top Prize: $1.2 million

U.S. Open

When: June
Total Purse: $10 million
Top Prize: $1.8 million

British Open

When: July
Total Purse: $9.8 million
Top Prize: $1.8 million

The Players Championship

When: May
Total Purse: $10 million
Top Prize: $1.8 million

The Memorial Tournament

When: June
Total Purse: $6.2 million
Top Prize: $1.1 million

Farmers Insurance Open

When: February
Total Purse: $6.3 million
Top Prize: $1.1 million

AT&T National

When: February
Total Purse: $6.8 million
Top Prize: $1.2 million

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

When: January
Total Purse: $5.7 million
Top Prize: $1.1 million

Wells Fargo Championship

When: May
Total Purse: $7.1 million
Top Prize: $1.3 million