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Jose Maria Olazabal has been struggling with a knee injury in recent weeks. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Jose Maria Olazabal has been struggling with a knee injury in recent weeks. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Notebook: R&A raises payout offered at Carnoustie

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The total prize money available this year is $400,000 more than last year, and the winner will pocket a cool $1.5 million. Plus, Jose Maria Olazabal is racing to get back in shape and Ian Poulter appreciates the camera and phone policy.

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (PA) -- The total prize money for the Open Championship at Carnoustie will be $8.4 million, an increase of $400,000 over last year.

The winner of the Claret Jug will receive $1.5 million, an increase of $60,000 over the amount Tiger Woods collected for his successful defense of the title 12 months ago.

The world No. 1 now has the chance to be the first player to win it three times in a row since Peter Thomson in 1956.

"This increased prize money reflects our goal of maintaining the position of the Open Championship at the forefront of world golf," said Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Club.

The first two majors of the season, the Masters and U.S. Open, both had total prize money of $7 million.

Even the player who finishes in last place at Carnoustie will earn $4,200.

The course last staged the event in 1999, and winner Paul Lawrie's reward then was $750,000 from a total purse of $4 million.

OLAZABAL IN RECOVERY MODE: Jose Maria Olazabal is hoping to recover his fitness in time for this week's Barclays Scottish Open and next week's Open Championship.

The two-time Masters champion has been struggling with a left knee injury for the past four weeks and pulled out of the recent French Open.

"I've not swung a club since the U.S. Open and only started putting again the last two days," he said. "I'm taking anti-inflammatories, but it's still swollen and I'll need to have the fluid drained before I start practicing fully again."

POULTER PUT OUT: Ian Poulter for one will be mighty pleased that Open Championship fans will be told to stop using mobile phones as well as cameras at Carnoustie next week.

Poulter reckons he had to back off from shots at least 10 times because of untimely clicks during his opening-round 70 in the recent French Open at Le Golf National near Paris.

"It was the worst I've ever known it," said Poulter. "I was distracted a couple of times when I was playing and I had to start speaking to the crowd because it got that bad."

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