Written by Doug Ferguson, golf writer at AP
The KPMG Women’s Championship doubles its portfolio to $9 million, another boost to the women’s game that brings prize money to the Big Five majors to triple what it was a decade ago.
The LPGA Tour’s second oldest major’s portfolio is now 300% higher than it was in 2014, the year before KPMG and PGA of America partnered with the LPGA Tour to raise prize money and profile by moving them into Legendary Tournaments.
The Women’s PGA Championship begins Thursday at the Congress Country Club, which has hosted the three-time US Open. The winner will receive $1.35 million.
The USGA has signed Presentation Sponsor (ProMedica) for the US Women’s Open in nearly double the prize money from what was already the major LPGA major. Minjee Lee won $1.8 million of his $10 million purse earlier this month at Pine Needles.
France’s Amundia Evian has already announced a $2 million increase to $6.8 million, while the AIG Women’s British Open has seen steady increases with the tournament’s new sponsor and is now worth $6.8 million. Chevron had a $5 million purse, nearly $2 million more than the previous year.
This brings the value of the prize money for the five majors to $37.3 million. In 2012, the same five tournaments collected $13.75 million in prize money.
Every US Women’s Open has corporate sponsors as part of the title.
“We accelerate the advancement, development, and empowerment of women on and off the golf course,” said Paul Knopp, KPMG US President and CEO. “The exponentially increased portfolio size – along with top-of-the-line courses in key markets, network television coverage, advanced data and analytics capabilities delivered via KPMG Performance Insights – are tangible examples of our commitment to advancing world class athletes on the LPGA Tour.”
KPMG Performance Insights was launched last year to give women a range of stats to help develop their games.
LPGA Tour commissioner Molly Marco Semaan delivered the news to her players in an email Tuesday morning, and it got a lot of attention.
“I heard kind of a hum going around the club. Hey, did you see that email, 9 million.” Maria Stackhouse “Everyone is so excited,” said Maria Stackhouse. The level of women’s golf, and it has been with this tournament in terms of competition since KPMG took over. So to see the height of the bag as well, it really reinforces this as … one of the first, if not the first, pioneers in women’s golf.”
Since KPMG became a sponsor, the women’s PGA has gone to Hazeltine, Olympia Fields, Aronimink, and Sahalee, all of which have hosted the men’s majors. Nelly Korda is the defending champion, and last year she won the Atlanta Athletic Club to reach number one for the first time.
The stadium houses 99 of the top 100 players on the LPGA Tour money list.
“This is a very important day for the PGA, women’s golf and for women’s sports,” said Marco Semaan. “We look forward to working with KPMG and the US PGA to continue using our platform to empower young women and inspire positive change in the world.”
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