Last Update :1/11/2022

USGA Boosts U.S. Women's Open Purse to $10 Million, Adds Five Future Venues

USGA Boosts U.S. Women's Open Purse to $10 Million, Adds Five Future Venues

New USGA commissioner Mike Whan's splashy announcement is the beginning of a broad plan to grow women's golf.


In a sweeping, industry-shaking announcement, the United States Golf Association has made history for its premiere women’s event.

The U.S. Women’s Open will be, starting later this summer, presented by ProMedica — an Ohio-based nonprofit health care system — and with that comes a near 100-percent purse increase.

The USGA will also take the U.S. Women’s Open to some of the most iconic venues in professional golf over the next two decades: Riviera Country Club, Inverness Club, Pinehurst (No. 2), Interlachen, and Oakland Hills will join an already impressive list of future sites.

The announcement was made in a Manhattan ballroom as part of USGA CEO Mike Whan’s first press conference as the organization’s top boss. In his opening comments, Whan alluded to “loving” the USGA’s history while also wanting to “make some” history, too.

“Today,” Whan said, “we are going to do both.”

With the addition of ProMedica as a presenting sponsor (terms of the deal were not disclosed), the purse of the U.S. Women’s Open starting in 2022 will be increased to $10 million.

There are plans to bump it to $11 million and $12 million over the next five years.

Yuka Saso lifted the U.S. Women's Open trophy in 2021 after winning in a sudden death playoff.

Yuka Saso lifted the U.S. Women's Open trophy in 2021 after winning in a sudden death playoff.

USA Today

“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. This partnership with ProMedica allows us to substantially grow the championship in every way, from its purpose, to its purse, to the places that host the event,” Whan said in a release. “While I’m incredibly proud of what we are announcing today, I know this is just the beginning, as together with ProMedica, we’ll push to change the game and what it means to young women worldwide in order to reach new heights every year.”

Last year’s U.S. Women’s Open purse was $5.5 million — already the biggest in women’s golf.

The winner of the U.S. Women’s Open this year will earn a $1.8-million first-place prize — the largest in women’s golf. Only three golfers on the LPGA in 2021 earned more than that all season.

John Bodenhamer, the USGA's chief championships officer, said Friday’s announcement was the culmination of a four-year journey to “empower” the U.S. Women’s Open.

Locking in a presenting sponsor was “unfathomable” he said, about a half-decade ago. However, Whan, who came to the USGA last year after a lengthy stint as the commissioner of the LPGA — where he drew praise from players, stakeholders, and corporate America — kickstarted key conversations around the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I knew Mike would not stand ‘status quo.’ He would make women’s golf (and) men’s golf better. He has done it in very quick time,” said Juli Inkster, who was on-site at the announcement. “We can do this.”

While the purse increase was an important part of Friday’s announcement (of note, the gap between the men’s U.S. Open purse and the women’s U.S. Open purse is now just $2.5 million) the lookahead to the upcoming venues was impressive, too.

Venues like Pebble Beach, Oakmont, and Merion had already been announced by the USGA, but Friday saw five more future sites added.

Riviera Country Club (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) will host in 2026, Inverness Club (Toledo, Ohio) gets 2027, Interlachen Country Club (Edina, Minn.) gets 2030, Oakland Hills Country Club (Bloomfield Township, Mich.) will host in both 2031 and 2042, while Pinehurst No. 2 will host in 2029 — back-to-back again with the men’s U.S. Open like in 2014.

“We want to take this championship to the places young girls dream about today and moving forward,” Whan said.

It will be the first U.S. Women’s Open at Oakland Hills, Inverness, and Riviera and the second for Interlachen and Pinehurst.

“These are all venues that have made history in the men’s game and to be able to bring the women there… these girls are damn good,” Inkster said. “For a fan base to now say, ‘the girls are playing Pebble Beach (in 2023), let’s see how they do?’ You’re going to be impressed.”

Yuka Saso won the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open, contested at The Olympic Club. This year’s U.S. Women’s Open will be played at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., for the fourth time. 

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