How much money does the winner of the 2022 Women’s British Open get?
The fifth and final major of the season is taking place in Scotland, August 4-7, with a record purse up for grabs for the women who make the cut.
The British Open is the last major to be played this season in both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, so a couple of weeks after Australian Cameron Smith was crowned men’s champion, the golf world is ready to see who will win the 46th Women’s Open and take the biggest cut from a record prize pot.
A record purse in all five majors
2022 has seen every LPGA major improve the economic prizes attached to each tournament, with the AIG Women’s Open increasing its prize pot up to a total of $7.3 million. Smith netted himself $2.5 million on the Old Course in St Andrews with his victory last month, while a win at this edition of the Women’s British Open, the first to take place at Muirfield, will be worth $1,095,000, which is $225,000 more than Nordvquist got. Up 26% from the $5.8 million purse from last year, this year’s prize pool is the tournament’s largest ever and is bettered only by the US Women’s Open’s $10 million and the Women’s PGA Championship’s $9 million.
The Women’s British Open took place for the first time in 1976 and local winner Jenny Lee Smith got just over $250 out of a $600 purse. The prices have constantly risen since then as women’s golf has gotten professionalized, but it is due to AIG, a big American insurance firm, sponsoring the tournament since 2019, that there’s this record. The year prior, when the tournament was still known as the Ricoh Women’s British Open, the total purse was $3.25 million, which has more than doubled in the brief time AIG has been naming the tournament. The R&A, the organizer of both the men’s Open and the Women’s Open since 2017, has extended its partnership with AIG until at least 2025.
Numbers to be proud of
R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers gave a press conference to explain the economic development of the tournament: “This is our opportunity to shine a light on the immense talent of the athletes that are competing here this week, as well as inspire the next generation of players. I’m hugely excited by what this week has to offer. We have to use this week to highlight the need for a broader engagement in women’s golf.”
“Pro-ams are part of the commercial model of women’s professional golf,” Slumbers said about the particular nature of the Open, “I’ve not been shy in saying over the years that professional golf is a business and the pro-am is a key part of that in the women’s game.”
He also acknowledged the timing of the Women’s Open coming to Muirfield for the first time the same year that the course gets back on the rotation for the men’s championship, denying any connection between those decisions: “Absolutely not. They are two very independent decisions. But let me just explain why we brought the championship here, because I think that’s really important that people understand. We are absolutely focused on how do we get the best venues that we can get that mean the most to golf, and stage the championship there. And when you look at the history of our game, there is no more important course [than Muirfield], other than perhaps the Old Course, if you want to achieve that purpose. You only have to walk around and listen to some of the players and their views. This is something special.”
A field with the greatest golfers in the world
This year’s Women’s Open will see the three top ranked golfers in the world play together on Thursday, as Korean Jin Young Koo, Australian Minjee Lee and American Nelly Korda all tee off at the same time. A four-day battle commences today in Scotland to see who will win the last major of this season.