Naples, Fla. — More than $100 million will be awarded to LPGA players for the first time in 2023, an increase of about 18% over what was projected this season and more than doubling the amount paid on the tour in a decade. in the past.
And in the eyes of LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Saman, that’s a good start.
Next year’s LPGA’s 33 official events will have $101.4 million in purses, the tour announced Friday. But reaching nine figures in total purse for the first time doesn’t mean the tour has hit its target, Marcoux Saman said.
“I think we’re trying to grow as much as possible,” Marcoux Saman said. “I think it’s not a target, it’s a milestone. I think it just marks the next stage of evolution for the tour. But I don’t feel like we’re done. We feel like there’s a lot more investment to be made in the women’s game and we’re excited to get that.”
The program has events in 11 states and 12 countries. He has two races – if they happen – in China. The LPGA has not played there since October 2019, canceling each of the last five events scheduled in China after the coronavirus outbreak.
For now, there is some hope of a return to China.
“I think we are waiting to hear now and I told them we will keep the players but we have the contract and it is on schedule and we will let them know when that develops,” Marcoux Saman said.
The five women’s golf majors have $37.9 million in purses, led by $10 million at the U.S. Women’s Open next July at Pebble Beach. That tournament is immediately on the agenda for the $9 million Baltrusole Women’s PGA Championship.
That’s $19 million paid in just two events, something unheard of in women’s golf just a few years ago.
Four of the five majors occur in seven eight-week periods.
“I think we’re playing some amazing golf courses and I think some of the decisions are based on the availability of the golf courses and being able to get in and play in these very important and popular venues,” Marcoux said. Saman said. “So I think in the right load, it can be spread more.”
This season’s official purses reached $93.5 million, mainly due to increases in majors. In the year Going into 2022, the plan was for purses to be $85.7 million.
For now, Saudi-backed LIV Golf — which will offer $405 million in 14 men’s tournaments by 2023 — has not revealed any formal plans to lure women players, although CEO Greg Norman has hinted at the possibility. The LPGA didn’t have to worry about LIV just yet.
“A broken golf environment doesn’t benefit anyone,” Marcoux Saman said. “As commissioner, as administrator of this organization, it’s my responsibility to listen and learn and we’re going to continue to do that. There’s nothing new to report on this.”
Every tournament on the LPGA’s 2023 slate carries a purse of at least $1.5 million, and only four have purses that small. There are 16 tournaments, not including the majors, with purses of at least $2 million, including seven of the final eight on the schedule.
After the Solheim Cup in Spain in late September, the LPGA will play for eight consecutive weeks to end the season with a bit of a bang. The first two stops are in Arkansas and Texas, then the four-tournament Asians swing through China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, then the last two weeks in Florida – and again in Naples for the $7 million CME Team Tour Championship. With 2 million dollars for the winner.
The $2 million first-place prize, which matches the prize awarded to the winner this weekend in Naples, is the largest single check in women’s golf.
“We are a global brand, with players from all over the world, we are a global organization with global distribution,” said Marcoux Saman. “And we have a very fast fan base where brands and partners are really growing their own businesses. So the business opportunity is very strong, the internal opportunities are very strong and we’re very excited about where we’re going.”