The USGA has signed a main sponsor for the US Women’s Open that has allowed it to nearly double the championship’s prize fund to $10 million in 2022.
ProMedica, a health care company which operates in Ohio and Michigan, has been brought on as the first-ever presenting sponsor of a USGA championship. This will allow the governing body to boost the overall prize money offered at the championship by $4.5 million to a total of $10m.
The winner of the US Women’s Open, which is being held Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in North Carolina in June, will bank $1.8m, the most money ever offered as an individual first prize at a women’s tournament.
USGA CEO Mike Whan said that the prize fund will be raised to $11 million in 2023 and then to $12 million over the next five years. The current prize fund for the men’s US Open is $12.5m.
“Three players earned more than $1.8 million on the LPGA Tour in 2021,” said Whan. “Next year, the winner of the women US Open will make $1.8 million in one week. That’s the kind of oney that will not only be life-changing for the player who win it, but for the 6-year-old, 9-year-old, 13-year-old, dreaming realising that her dream is different today than it was yesterday.”
Juli Inkster, who won $315,000 for her first US Women’s Open victory in 1999, said: “This is a huge step for women’s sports all over the world. They rent their own cars, they do their travel, they work really hard. And sometimes you feel like you’re not getting rewarded for how hard you work. ProMedica is giving these ladies the opportunity to play for a lot of money as well as the USGA championship. A win will make or break their year, and possibly their career.”
In addition to the announcement of increased prize funds, the USGA also chose to reveal some of the future host sites for the Women’s US Open over the next 25 years. With 2023-25 venues already decided, new venue announcements included Riviera Country Club in 2026, Inverness Club in 2027, Pinehurst No.2 in 2029, Interlachen Country Club in 2030 and Oakland Hills in 2031 and 2042, and Merion in 2034 and 2046.
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