One of the biggest stories entering the final round of the Open Championship is amateur rookie Paul Dunne from Ireland who was tied for the lead after 54 holes.
That Dunne has a chance to be the first amateur to win the Open since 1930 is amazing. However, he took a big gamble staying an amateur and now it has a chance to cost him millions both on and off the course.
If Dunne were to go on and win the Open, the first thing he will miss out on is the $US1.8 million share of the purse. That money will instead be “distributed proportionately among the professional players who have made the cut,” the
Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced.
Dunne is also missing out on huge endorsement possibilities. Like Jordan Spieth, Dunne has been decked out head-to-toe at the Open in Under Armour gear. But since he is an amateur, the apparel company can’t pay Dunne even though the exposure has been worth millions for the company.
But as for now, Dunne remains an amateur even though he completed his career as a college golfer at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and the reason is because he wants to compete in the Walker Cup later this year, according to the Irish Times.
Similar to the Ryder Cup, the Walker Cup is an international competition for amateur golfers representing the United States and a joint team from Great Britain and Ireland.
The possibility of playing in the Walker Cup must be extremely tempting for Dunne who was not a part of the 2013 team that lost to the United States and may never get the opportunity to play in the Ryder Cup. However, now he has to weigh that temptation against a financial one that may be even greater.
While Dunne is already assured of missing out on prize money at the British Open, he could still cash in after the tournament through endorsements. If he remains an amateur until after the mid-September Walker Cup there is a risk that his endorsement appeal will fade.
That could be too much of a risk to pass up.
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