LPGA Tour Championship announces pay bump that will rival PGA Tour purses
NAPLES, Fla. — LPGA Tour pros are set to see a record payday in the near future.
Thanks to a historic investment from CME Group, the LPGA Tour Championship purse — already the largest in the women’s game — will increase from $7 million to $11 million next season. The winner’s share will increase from $2 million to $4 million, with every player in the field guaranteed to earn at least $55,000 for the week.
The title sponsor will also extend their partnership with the LPGA Tour by two additional years.
“I am trying to be a catalyst for women’s golf,” said CME Group CEO Terry Duffy. “We’re being a bit of a catalyst and I think we pushed the majors, which is more important.”
With a purse of $11 million, the CME Group Tour Championship joins the U.S. Women’s Open in having the largest purse in tour history. The purse is also larger than many on the PGA Tour, save for the majors and elevated events.
“This partnership extension with CME Group is extremely important and underscores the growth and strength of the LPGA,” LPGA commissioner Marcoux Samaan said in a statement. “CME Group has been pushing the LPGA forward at every step of our evolution since 2011, and with this extension they are once again helping take the LPGA, women’s golf and women’s sports to unprecedented heights.”
The historic influx of cash comes just one year after a tense episode between CME Group and the LPGA last fall. The incident featured Duffy attempting to honor the LPGA pros at a pre-tournament dinner before the 2022 event. However, when the lights were turned on to spotlight the players, there were none to be found.
“It’s an embarrassment to a company of my size and an embarrassment to me personally,” Duffy later told Golfweek. “I am exceptionally disappointed with the leadership of the LPGA.”
The episode had some players and tour leadership worried that CME might pull their sponsorship dollars all together. Instead, Duffy has opted to double down on his commitment to the women’s game.
“My commitment to the LPGA and my commitment to St. Jude will never change,” Duffy said. “But I think Mollie, we got together throughout the year and talked about a lot of the different things and still do, and I think that helped give me more confidence to come to this point today to extend our relationship.”
The $4 million to the winner is a historic figure for women’s golf as just two players in LPGA Tour history have ever made more throughout an entire season. This season’s money leader, world No. 1 Lilia Vu, has made just over $3.2 million with the season finale still to play.
“I always wanted this to be a premier event,” Duffy said. “[And] sometimes you need dollars to make it a premier event.”