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No one is above the global recession and while misery loves company, the economy of scales are different even if we all suffer from the same plight, relatively speaking. Even one of golf’s governing bodies has a few more unpleasant things to deal with due to the world of high finance crashing and burning. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the host of the Open
Championship has to determine how much of
a bounty is available for Tiger Woods and his
modern day pirates to pursue. “The Open has
been the most lucrative in dollar terms of all
the four majors for quite some years now,”
explained Peter Dawson, Chief Executive
Officer of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St.
Andrews. “But this year the dollar having
swung back from roughly 2 to 1 now to below
1.50 to 1, that's probably going to be a position
that's going to be tough for us to maintain this
year,” he conceded. “Prize money is a subject that we had quite a bit of interest in this year obviously with the change in exchange rates. We have not yet made a determination about the level of prize
money for this year's Open. There's
nothing new in that. We have left it closer
to the event in recent years, and we'll be
doing that again so we can make a
determination about the level of prize
money according to the latest economic
statistics, and we'll be announcing that in
due course.”
The cost of doing business is also going
up, in part due to its venue location for
this year’s event. This July, the Open
Championship will be played at Turnberry
for the first time in 15 years. For those
uninitiated to the geography of the British Isles, it is somewhat of a remote location as there is essentially one road in and out to its fabled grounds. Its tucked in the southwestern part of Scotland and on a clear day the coastline of northern Ireland is in full view. Nevertheless, given the state of the world today the venue is a bit more of a challenge than it would be ordinarily, but the R&A is borrowing a page out of the bail out play book to try and soften the blow to some who might not be willing to attend.
“We had 115,000 people here in 1994, and we're sitting here despite this recession confident that there is huge interest in this championship and we should at least get to the number from 1994, said David Hill, director of championships for the R&A. “Padraig (Harrington) is going for three in a row, and Tiger not having played last year on his return to Turnberry is of course of major interest to a lot of spectators,” he began.