For a period of a handful of months, The Players Championship had claim to offering golf's richest purse when the PGA Tour increased the prize money for their biggest championship to $12.5 million, surpassing the 2018 purse for the US Open by $500,000.
The 2019 US Open first-place payout will be $2,250,000, same as The Players, with 18 percent of the purse going to the winner at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Now, the USGA has struck back, increasing the 2019 US Open purse by $500,000 over last year at Shinnecock Hills, making this year's purse $12.5 million. Barring some kind of unexpected increase in the British Open purse, these two events will be tied for the biggest purses in golf in 2019.
The USGA made the announcement ahead of the 2019 US Women's Open, whose purse was also increased an equal $500,000 to reach $5.5 million. The 2019 US Women's Open winner will receive $1 million for the first time at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.
The US Open purse last increased in 2017, going up to $12 million after PGA Tour players sought help from their leadership in understanding why the US Open purse hadn't increased significantly after the USGA signed a 12-year, $1.1 billion deal with Fox Sports for broadcasting rights. After the PGA Tour's ask, the purse was increased.
A number of players would like to see the US Open purse increased further, even in the range of $15 million. However, by offering the tied-for-biggest purse in golf, the USGA is keeping ahead of the pace of the sport.