by Bryan Kim ‘23
The USGA (United States Golf Association) has recently announced that the purse for the US Women’s Open Championship will be increased from 5.5 million dollars to 10 million dollars in 2022. By 2026, the purse will rise to 12 million dollars, thanks to the championship’s first-ever presenting sponsor, the non-profit health organization ProMedica. The purse for this year’s championship dramatically cuts the gap between the $12.5 million purse the men will compete for in the 2022 US Open.
A BBC study has highlighted that golf, along with basketball and football, has one of the largest gender pay gaps at the professional level. In, 2019, a male professional golfer on the PGA (Professional Golfer’s Association) Tour could be expected to make 83 percent more in winnings than their female counterparts on the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golfer’s Association) Tour. It is unfair that female athletes play the same sport, to the same level, yet their trophies and achievements are worth a fraction of those in male competitions. However, a nearly doubled purse in women’s most prestigious golf tournament is a monumental step in closing the gender pay gap in professional golf. The sporting and athletic community must continue to push for greater participation, employment, commercial opportunities, and visibility in media for all women’s sports.