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Volume 26 No. 51

Events and Attractions

The winner of the U.S. Women's Open, which begins tomorrow in Charleston, S.C., will earn $1M for the first time after the USGA announced the event's purse "has been upped by $500,000" to $5.5M, according to Pat Ralph of GOLF.com. That makes it the "largest purse in all of women’s golf." While the $1M winning prize is the most ever for this event, it is "not the highest in women’s golf" -- the CME Group Tour Championship will hand out a $1.5M check to this year's winner. The men’s U.S. Open also "saw its purse increase by $500,000" to $12.5M, making it the "largest purse of any of the four major tournaments" (GOLF.com, 5/28). Golfer Lexi Thompson called the move by the USGA "amazing" and said, "It strikes us as the women’s game is growing so much. I think it is very well-deserved, but I think overall golf is just growing as a sport." USGA Senior Managing Dir of Championships John Bodenhamer indicated that the governing body "felt the increased amounts would be meaningful and impactful and enhance the championship experience overall" (Charleston POST & COURIER, 5/29).

BIG NEWS FOR WOMEN'S GAME: In Palm Springs, Larry Bohannan notes the increased purse is "big news" in golf, as it shows the USGA is "happy to spend some money on the women's game." While the purse still is far below what is being offered at the men's U.S. Open next month at Pebble Beach, the move "might cause other organizations and sponsors to add more money to their purses" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 5/29). GOLFWEEK's Beth Ann Nichols noted the U.S. Women’s Open purse is 25% higher than the "next-closest women’s major." There "isn’t a player on the LPGA who wouldn’t like to see equal purses between the men’s and women’s championships one day, but most also understand that the [men's] U.S. Open is the only profitable event on the USGA’s championship schedule." Golfer Stacy Lewis "hopes the USGA’s bump in pay causes organizers of other women’s majors to step up" (GOLFWEEK.com, 5/28).

PURSE TOTALS FOR LPGA MAJORS
MAJOR
PURSE
ANA Inspiration
$3M
U.S. Women's Open
$5.5M
KPMG Women's PGA Championship
$3.85M
Evian Championship
$4.1M
AIG Women's British Open
$3.25M
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LPGA MAJOR PURSES

Local organizers for the upcoming Women's World Cup in France are in the "process of reallocating randomly separated seats that had been purchased together," according to Nancy Armour of USA TODAY. Many fans discovered last week that they had been "issued separated seats despite purchasing their tickets together." Some of the seats were a "few rows apart while others were in completely different sections of the stadium." Some fans over the weekend "noticed that their ability to print out those tickets had 'disappeared.'" The tickets were "still listed, including the seat numbers, but they were no longer available as e-tickets." Fans with separated seats are being "urged to contact organizers via phone or email so tickets can be reallocated before fans arrive at the stadium" (USA TODAY, 5/29).

BETTER TO BE PREPARED: REUTERS' Philip O'Connor notes the Norwegian women's national team last week was "given a presentation about what to do if they are approached to fix" a World Cup match. The session took place at their "pre-tournament training camp in Oslo at the behest" of FIFA, which is "insisting all 24 nations taking part in the World Cup inform their players of the risks involved." Norwegian Football Association legal adivsor Emil Waters said that though it is "considered highly unlikely that their players would be approached to fix a game at such a high-profile event, the players still need to be aware" (REUTERS, 5/29).