May 29, 2019 - 5:56 pm
Updated May 29, 2019 - 6:10 pm
A first-place prize of $1 million will be on the line for the first time in the U.S. Women’s Open.
The United States Golf Association announced Tuesday a total purse increase to $5.5 million, up from $5 million last year. The tournament begins Thursday at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.
Players with Las Vegas ties in the tournament include Inbee Park, a seven-time major champion and 2008 and 2013 U.S. Women’s Open champion; major champion Danielle Kang, winner of the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship; Na Yeon Choi, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open champion; and Jenny Shin.
Park said she’s excited about the purse increase, but winning another trophy is more than enough motivation for the former Bishop Gorman High star.
“It (U.S. Open) has such special memories in my career, and especially the last one I won in 2013,” Park said during a news conference. “I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was my third major in a row for that year, and becoming two-time champion of the U.S. Women’s Open is just something that’s unforgettable in my golfing career.
“If I can write my name one more time on the trophy, that will be just something unreal.”
Kang has put together a solid season and is 14th on the LPGA Tour money list, but she withdrew from last week’s Pure Silk Championship after the first round without an explanation. But she will play this week and said she couldn’t be more excited.
“My caddie, friends and family will all tell you that this is the most relaxing week for me,” Kang said in a USGA YouTube interview. “I don’t know why, but I am so happy to be at the home of the USGA. Everything just relaxes me. I can’t wait to get started.”
U.S. Women’s Open
When: Thursday to Sunday
Where: Country Club of Charleston, Charleston, S.C.
TV: Thursday, Friday, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (FS1). Saturday, Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (KVVU-5)
Defending champion: Ariya Jutanugarn