The U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament prize money will nearly double this year to $10 million, the USGA announced Friday. That number is up from $5.5 million last year and will continue to increase over the next five years to $12 million.
It’s the largest purse in women’s golf and challenges some of the top prizes in women’s sports.
The increase is in part thanks to the USGA bringing on a presenting sponsor, ProMedica, a not-for-profit integrated health organization that serves 28 states.
“This is a huge step for women’s sports all over the world. Our players work really hard to be competitive, to travel the Tour,” Juli Inkster, five-time USGA champion, said. “Sometimes you feel like you do it and you aren’t getting rewarded for how hard you work. ProMedica is giving these ladies an opportunity to play for a lot of money… This will make or break their year. Their life.”
In addition to the increase in prize money, the U.S. Women’s Open will now be held at some of the classic courses that have hosted the men’s event for decades. Included is a return to Oakmont and Pinehurst No. 2, as well as the Riviera, Oakland Hills, Merion, Inverness and Interlachen.
Pinehurst in North Carolina will host the men’s and women’s Open in successive weeks in 2029, similar to 2014 when Michelle Wie captured her first major.
It’s the first major initiative announced by the USGA since Mike Whan, former LPGA Tour commissioner, took over as the organization’s CEO last summer.
“The USGA prides itself on conducting championships that not only provide an incredible stage for the athletes, but also give younger players something to dream about,” Whan said. “For more than 75 years, the U.S. Women’s Open has been the one that every little girl, in every country around the world, has dreamed of winning.”
Last year’s US Open saw Yuka Saso win her first major.
The 2022 edition of the Women’s Open is set to take place June 2-5 at Pine Needles Lodge in North Carolina.