PGA Women’s Championship doubles price to $9 million

The KPMG Women‘s PGA Championship doubles the size of its purse to $9 million, another boost for the women’s game that earns the five majors nearly triple the amount from a decade ago.

Prize money increase for second oldest major on LPGA Tour is a 300% increase from 2014, the year before KPMG and the PGA of America teamed up with the LPGA Tour to raise the prize in money and profile by taking it on legendary courses.

The PGA Women’s Championship begins Thursday at Congressional Country Club, which has hosted the US Open three times. The winner will receive $1.35 million.

The USGA signed a presenting sponsor (ProMedica) for the US Women’s Open nearly doubling the prize money of what was already the biggest of the LPGA majors. Minjee Lee won $1.8 million on a $10 million purse earlier this month at Pine Needles.

The Amundi Evian Championship in France has already announced a $2m increase to $6.8m, while the AIG Women’s British Open has seen steady increases with a new title sponsor and is now up to $6.8m. of dollars. The Chevron Championship had a purse of $5 million, nearly $2 million more than the previous year.

This brings the prize money for the five majors to $37.3 million. In 2012, the same five tournaments had combined prize money of $13.75 million.

All but the US Women’s Open have corporate sponsors as part of the title.

“We are accelerating the advancement, development and empowerment of women on and off the golf course,” said Paul Knopp, US Chairman and CEO of KPMG. “The significantly increased size of the stock exchange – along with top pricing across major markets, network TV coverage and the advanced data and analytics capabilities provided through KPMG Performance Insights – are tangible examples of our commitment to elevating the world-class athletes on the LPGA Tour.”

The KPMG Performance Insights was launched last year to give women a treasure trove of statistics to help them advance their games.

LPGA Tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan broke the news to her players in an email Tuesday morning, and it got a lot of attention.

“You heard some kind of whisper going around the clubhouse. ‘Hey, did you see that email, 9 million.’ And everyone is super, super excited,” said Mariah Stackhouse. “It’s great to be an ambassador for KPMG to see us join this push to increase and elevate women’s golf, and it’s been done with this championship in terms of competition since KPMG took over. So see the scholarship increasing too, it’s really really cementing that as…one of the first, if not the first major in women’s golf.”

Since KPMG became a sponsor, the Women’s PGA has visited Hazeltine and Olympia Fields, Aronimink and Sahalee, all courses that have hosted men’s majors. Nelly Korda is the defending champion, having won last year at the Atlanta Athletic Club to reach the top spot for the first time.

The field includes 99 of the LPGA TOUR’s top 100 money list players.

“It’s a very big day for the LPGA, for women’s golf and for women’s sport,” Marcoux Samaan said. “And we look forward to working with KPMG and the PGA of America to continue using our platform to empower young women and inspire positive change in the world.”

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