U.S. Women’s Open purse increases to $4 million
By Bernie D'Amato under US Women's Open

Defending champ

With the prestige of winning the season’s toughest major championship comes added monetary incentive for the best players in the women’s game. The USGA has decided to give the U.S. Women’s Open purse a $750,000 bump in prize money to $4 million, according to Ron Sirak of Golf Digest.

Sirak writes in a recent article, “The first impact of the new riches rolling into the USGA from its $1.1 billion, 12-year TV deal with Fox Sports that begins in 2015 will be felt this year. At next month’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2, the professionals in the field will be playing for a purse of $4 million, sources told, a significant bump from the $3.25 million that has been offered since 2008.”

More money means the LPGA is growing in popularity, which is great news for the golf community as a whole. When I spoke to Stacy Lewis at the Kia Classic in March, she said that women’s golf has the most potential for growth, and she has been actively involved in various initiatives to get more women playing the game. The LPGA players are also helping grow the game with the compelling action on Tour this season.

Lexi Thompson won her first major at the Kraft Nabisco, both Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer won for the first time since 2010, 17-year-old Lydia Ko notched her first win as a pro, and Stacy Lewis is in contention every week and will soon eclipse Inbee Park for the top spot in the game.  In addition, nearly all of the top players in the world compete in each event, which makes for exciting and consistent story lines.  For example, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson are currently part of a six-way tie for the lead at the Airbus LPGA Classic.

Women’s golf is making great strides, and the players will keep taking the game to new heights.

–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)

(Photo: Getty Images)