September 19, 2022

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. – Cash can’t purchase happiness, and it additionally doesn’t purchase main championships.

Lydia Ko, a two-time main winner on the Chevron and Amundi Evian championships, is chasing the third leg of the profession Grand Slam on the U.S. Girls’s Open. She’ll be competing for a $1.8 million winner’s verify, which is a part of an all-time excessive $10 million greenback purse. However Ko says all the cash on the earth gained’t change what it means to win a serious title.

“When there’s simply a lot on the road, none of us – I can say none of us are going to consider the cash,” Ko stated Tuesday in regards to the purse, which doubled from 2021. “I do not suppose anybody goes to have a putt on the 72nd gap to probably win and go, ‘Oh, my goodness, if I miss this putt it is like one thing, one thing thousand {dollars}.’”

Making historical past versus earning money. That’s turn out to be a sizzling debate in latest months within the males’s sport as LIV Golf has reportedly provided the world’s finest gamers unprecedented quantities of cash to stroll away from history-making alternatives on the PGA Tour.

U.S. Girls’s Open purse at all-time excessive of $10M

U.S. Women’s Open purse at all-time high of $10M

Fortunately for the ladies competing on the U.S. Girls’s Open, they gained’t must make that selection. The winner on Sunday could have her title etched in historical past and take dwelling practically $2 million in prize cash. In 2022, the USGA introduced on ProMedica as a presenting sponsor, a primary for the championship, which allowed the purse to be doubled and the winner’s verify elevated.

Like Lydia Ko, world No. 1 Jin Younger Ko is chasing the third leg of the profession Grand Slam at Pine Needles. For her, the possibility to etch her title alongside the sport’s greats far outweighs the monetary windfalls.

“I don’t care about cash as a result of these are majors,” Ko instructed “I need to get my title on the trophy. It’s a much bigger deal than cash.”

It is robust to anticipate what the cash may sometime imply as that is the primary time gamers on the LPGA are competing for such substantial prize cash. For his or her total careers, they’ve competed for considerably lower than their male counterparts in each common tour stops and main championships. Are one of the best feminine gamers on the earth simply used to taking part in for a lot much less? Or does successful a serious championship merely imply extra to gamers than padding their checking account?

“On the finish of the day, sure, the extra zeros are higher, however we’re all skilled athletes and attempting to play nicely in what we do and simply having a superb time on the market,” Lydia Ko stated. “And to have the ability to play for extra money doing that could be a bonus.”

Full-field tee occasions from the U.S. Girls’s Open

The USGA has lengthy been a frontrunner in driving the ladies’s sport ahead. For years they’ve provided the biggest purse in ladies’s golf, which spurred the opposite sponsors of the ladies’s majors – KPMG, Chevron, AIG and Amundi Evian – into elevating their prize cash to maintain tempo with the USGA. The CME Group Tour Championship has additionally joined the race because the season-ending occasion will provide the biggest payday within the ladies’s sport, with a $2 million greenback payout to the winner. Lydia Ko says she is hopeful that the dialog round elevated purses gained’t simply be in regards to the greenback quantity they’re taking part in for however what it means about the way forward for the ladies’s sport.

“We must be very grateful, however on the identical time I feel there’s nonetheless a methods to go, and I am excited the place ladies’s golf and golf is trending,” Lydia Ko stated. “For them to imagine in ladies’s golf and see ladies empowerment I feel is superior.”

It’s certainly an thrilling time for the ladies’s sport. Along with the upper purses, they’re competing on venues they’ve by no means performed earlier than. The U.S. Girls’s Open heads to Pebble Seashore in 2023.

Regardless of the cash and the venues, it’s nonetheless the priceless present of getting so as to add their title to a serious trophy that continues to be the most important prize of all.

“I do not want to make more cash, I would like my title on the U.S. Open trophy,” stated Jin Younger Ko, “and I would like historical past.”

And that’s one thing cash can’t purchase.

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