For the first time, the US Women’s Open winner will earn $1 million when she is crowned champion. When the winner is declared at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina, that champion’s seven-figure payday — a first for the USGA in a women’s event — will come from a total purse of $5.5 million.
The USGA chose to increase the purse for the US Women’s Open in 2019 by the same amount as the US Open, whose purse will increase from $12 million to $12.5 million, equaling The Players Championship as the biggest purse in professional golf.
The US Women’s Open purse has historically been the largest among LPGA-sanctioned tournaments. However, in recent years, increased commitments from LPGA and major title sponsors have closed the gap. In 2018, the US Women’s Open purse was $5 million, more than any other major by some $1.1 million. This season, the purse is the highest among the five LPGA majors by at least $900,000, with the Evian Championship bumping their purse to $4.1 million.
The season-ending CME Group Tour Championship now has a total purse of $5 million, with the winner of the 60-player event earning a $1.5 million payday for winning the tournament and the season-long Race to the CME Globe. Previously, the CME Group Tour Championship winner won $500,000 and the Race to the CME Globe winner, won $1 million separately.
This is part of a bigger trend of upward pressure in women’s golf purses, with majors continuing to increase prize money. However, in the broader scale, there’s still lots of work to do. LPGA players compete for approximately one-sixth the purse of PGA Tour players. Last year, the PGA Tour has 114 players earn at least $1 million in official prize money, not counting the FedEx Cup bonus pool. On the LPGA, 14 players crossed the million-dollar mark.