St Andrews, Scotland: The prize fund for next month’s AIG Women’s British Open will increase to US$4.5 million, a rise of almost 40% for 2019, in recognition of the importance of the championship and women’s golf, The R&A has announced.
Taking place on the Marquess’ Course at Woburn from August 1-4, the AIG Women’s British Open now offers the second highest prize fund of the five Majors in the women’s game. The increase comes in the first year of AIG’s partnership as title sponsor and will see the winner take home a first prize of US$675,000.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “We recognised that more needed to be done to elevate the prize fund for this great championship and are pleased that we have been able to make a significant increase this year as part of The R&A’s commitment to women’s golf.
“This is an important first step and we know it will take time to move closer to achieving parity with the men’s game. We will continue to work toward the long-term goal of a sustainable business model but we can’t do it alone and the support of fans, sponsors and media are all key to achieving that success.”
Defending champion Georgia Hall will head a field rich in the world’s best players for the year’s final Major including nine of the past 10 champions, among them Thai Ariya Jutanugarn, who won by three shots at Woburn in 2016.
Following AIG’s recent commitment to a five-year sponsorship through to 2023, the championship is entering a new era. Woburn has hosted the championship on 10 occasions, the first nine of which were on the Duke’s Course, while the 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open was played on the Marquess’ Course to acclaim from the 144-strong field.
Forming part of the Woburn Estate, home to the Duke of Bedford, Woburn Golf Club is one of the United Kingdom’s premier golf facilities, boasting three courses. The club has held many European Tour and Senior Tour events as well as Final Qualifying for The Open.
The Women’s British Open was founded by the Ladies Golf Union in 1976 and has been staged in conjunction with IMG since 1984. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001. The championship is now owned by The R&A.