The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is doubling its total prize money to $US9 million ($AUD12.9 million), a 300 per cent increase from 2014.
The competition is one of five majors on the LPGA Tour and the tour’s second-oldest major.
In January, The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced a long-term partnership with health organisation ProMedica to almost double the sum of its prize money.
The $US10 million ($AUD14.3 million) addition helped pay for Minjee Lee’s recent $US1.8 million ($AUD2.5 million) win at the U.S Women’s Open – the only major without a corporate sponsor as part of its title.
Mike Whan, USGA CEO said the organisation “…prides itself on conducting championships that not only provide an incredible stage for the athletes, but also give younger players something to dream about.”
“For more than 75 years, the U.S. Women’s Open has been the one that every little girl, in every country around the world, has dreamed of winning,” he said.
“This partnership with ProMedica allows us to substantially grow the championship in every way, from its purpose, to its purse, to the places that host the event. Together with ProMedica, we’ll push to change the game and what it means to young women worldwide in order to reach new heights every year.”
Set to kick off on Thursday, this year’s Women’s PGA Championship will take place at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, and will be the first women’s professional event ever held at the venue.
This year’s winner will take home $US1.35 million ($AUD1.94 million). Last year, winner Nelly Korda, 22, took home $US675,000 ($AUD933,360).
This latest injection is another boost to the women’s game, bringing the total prize money for the five majors to almost triple the amount from ten years ago.
Last month, The Amundi Evian Championship in France announced it would increase its prize money to $US6.8 million ($AUD9.76 million) with the winner taking home $US1 million ($AUD1.43 million).
In August last year, AIG Women’s British Open announced a $US1.3 million ($AUD1.86 million) increase to its purse, boosting its prize fund to a then-record of $US5.8 million ($AUD8.3 million).
The Chevron Championship, played at Carlton Woods, Texas, raised its prize money to $US5 million ($AUD7.1 million) last year, almost $US2 million ($AUD2.8 million) more than the previous year.
The combined total prize money for the five majors is now $US37.3 million ($AUD53.6 million). A decade ago, that total stood at $US13.75 million ($AUD19.7 million).
U.S. chairman and CEO of KPMG, Paul Knopp, said his company is accelerating the advancement, development and empowerment of women both on and off the golf course.
LPGA Tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan announced the news of the new prize money figures in an email on Tuesday.
“This is a very big day for the LPGA, for women’s golf and for women’s sports,” Samaan said.
“And we look forward to working with KPMG and the PGA of America to continue to use our platform to empower young women and inspire positive change in the world.”
US LPGA golfer Mariah Stackhouse, who remains the only black player with full-time status on the tour, said the news is very exciting.
“You heard a murmur kind of going around the clubhouse. ‘Hey, did you see that email, 9 mil.’ And everybody is super, super excited.”