Videos by OutKick
This week’s AIG Women’s Open in England features a record-setting $9 million purse. For comparison, the men’s Open Championship last month handed out a purse of $16.5 million. While the women’s game has made ginormous strides over the years, Mel Reid is well aware it may never truly catch up to the men’s side.
It’s fantastic to see sponsors write bigger checks across the LPGA Tour schedule and specifically in women’s major championships, but Reid understands that the pace in which the men’s purses are growing, gender pay equity may not be a realistic goal for the recent future.
“The men’s game has gone absolutely ridiculous. Catching up with them is going to be a heavy feat. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but when I first played the British Open to now, it’s astronomically different,” Reid said after the opening round of the Women’s Open. “It’s obviously great now for the girls to be able to come out and make a decent living.”
While the PGA Tour has increased purses year after year and introduced even larger elevated events this season, with an influx of Saudi Arabia money if the recently proposed merger comes to fruition, those numbers will go through the roof.
The purses we could see in future PGA Tour events will make the incredibly lucrative ones we already have look like mini-tour paydays, which has nothing to do with gender equity, it’s simply the situation professional golf finds itself in.
Annika Sorenstam is the all-time money leader on the LPGA Tour with $22.5 million in earnings across 72 wins on Tour. Her $22.5 million career earnings would put her 70th on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list sandwiched between Chris DiMarco and Sungjae Im.