US Open makes major championship history with $20 million purse

Mark McGowan

Reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick (Chris Keane/USGA)

Los Angeles Country Club’s maiden major championship hosting had already ensured that history would be made at the 122nd staging of the U.S. Open, but USGA CEO Mike Whan’s announcement that the prizemoney would total $20 million saw new ground broken once more for a major championship.

Last year’s purse of $17.5 million had been the highest to date, and champion Matt Fitzpatrick walked away with a cheque for $3.15 million, as did Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship last month, whilst Jon Rahm’s Masters winning performance earned him $3.24 million. The eventual winner at L.A. Country Club will earn $3.6 million, however, an all-time high for a major championship success.

The spike in prizemoney is no doubt fueled by the excessive prizemoney offered on the LIV circuit who first offered $20 million purses and a first prize cheque of $4 million, while the PGA Tour’s designated events sees them follow suit for events such as the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament, whilst The Players Championship offered $25 million.


Expectations were high that the majors would bolster their prizemoney accordingly, and Whan’s announcement came as little surprise.

In addition to earning $3.6 million – assuming it’s a professional and no amateur since Johnny Goodman in 1933 has taken top honours at the longest-running major championship held in the United States – the eventual winner will be awarded the Jack Nicklaus medal, will keep the trophy for a year, will earn a five-year exemption into the Masters, PGA and Open Championships, and a ten-year exemption to the U.S. Open.


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