NAPLES, Fla. — Greater than $100 million will probably be awarded to LPGA gamers for the primary time in 2023, a rise of about 18% over what was deliberate for this season and greater than doubling what was paid out on the tour only a decade in the past.
And within the eyes of LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan, that is a great begin.
The LPGA’s 33 official occasions subsequent 12 months may have a mixed $101.4 million in purses, the tour introduced Friday whereas unveiling the schedule. However reaching 9 digits in whole purse for the primary time hardly implies that the tour has reached its goal, Marcoux Samaan stated.
“I believe we’re attempting to simply develop as a lot as we are able to presumably develop,” Marcoux Samaan stated. “I believe it’s a milestone, not a goal. I believe it simply symbolizes the subsequent degree of evolution for the tour. However I do not assume we really feel like we’re performed. We really feel like there’s way more funding available within the girls’s sport and we’re enthusiastic about getting that.”
The schedule has occasions in 11 states and 12 nations. It has two tournaments — in the event that they occur — in China. The LPGA has not performed there since October 2019, canceling every of its final 5 deliberate occasions in China after the coronavirus pandemic.
For now, there’s some hope about getting again to China.
“I believe we’re simply nonetheless ready to listen to and we informed the gamers that we’ll preserve them posted, however we have now the contract and it is on the schedule, and we’ll allow them to know as as that evolves,” Marcoux Samaan stated.
The 5 girls’s golf majors account for $37.9 million of the deliberate purses, led by $10 million set to be paid out on the U.S. Ladies’s Open at Pebble Seashore subsequent July. That event is instantly preceded on the schedule by the Ladies’s PGA Championship at Baltrusol, a $9 million occasion.
That is $19 million to be paid out in a span of simply two occasions, one thing that was unfathomable in girls’s golf only a few years in the past.
The final 4 of the 5 majors happen in an eight-week, seven-tournament span.
“I believe a part of it’s as a result of we we’re enjoying at some phenomenal golf programs and a little bit of these choices had been primarily based on availability on the golf programs and the flexibility to to get in and play in these actually essential and iconic venues,” Marcoux Samaan stated. “So, I do assume within the perfect load, people who could be unfold out extra.”
Official purses for this season wound up reaching about $93.5 million, primarily by way of will increase to what was provided on the majors. The plan getting into 2022 was for purses to be $85.7 million.
For now, Saudi-funded LIV Golf — which is able to supply $405 million in 14 males’s occasions in 2023 — has not revealed any formal plans about attempting to entice girls’s gamers, although CEO Greg Norman has talked about the likelihood. The LPGA hasn’t needed to fear about LIV, but.
“A fractured golf surroundings is just not good for anybody,” Marcoux Samaan stated. “It is my position because the commissioner, as a steward of this group, my duty to actually hear and be taught and we’re doing that and we’ll proceed to try this. There’s nothing new to report on it.”
Each event on the LPGA’s 2023 slate carries a handbag of no less than $1.5 million, and there are solely 4 with purses that small. There are 16 tournaments, excluding the majors, with purses of no less than $2 million, together with seven of the ultimate eight on the schedule.
After the Solheim Cup in Spain in late September, the LPGA will play eight consecutive weeks to complete its season in a little bit of a frenzy. The primary two stops are in Arkansas and Texas, then a four-tournament Asian swing by way of China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, adopted by the final two weeks in Florida — and capped once more by the $7 million CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, with $2 million to the winner.
The $2 million first-place prize matches what will probably be awarded to the winner this weekend in Naples, and is the most important single test in girls’s golf.
“We’re a world model, a world group with gamers from everywhere in the world, being distributed everywhere in the world,” Marcoux Samaan stated. “And we have now a particularly fast-growing fan base the place manufacturers and companions can actually develop their very own enterprise. So the business alternative is actually sturdy, intrinsic alternatives are actually sturdy, and we’re extraordinarily bullish on the place we’re going.”