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|Lexi Thompson will be in a field chasing a record US$1 million payday at the US Women's Open this week. (AFP/Gregory Shamus)|
The United States Golf Association said in a statement prize money for the 119th US Open at Pebble Beach and the 74th US Women's Open at Charleston had each been increased by US$500,000.
It means the US Women's Open purse will total US$5.5 million. The US$1 million winner's cheque on offer in Charleston this week will be the richest payout in the history of women's golf.
Top women's players welcomed the news of the prize money hike on Tuesday.
"I think it's amazing news," Lexi Thompson told reporters in South Carolina.
"I think it is very well-deserved, but I think overall golf is just growing as a sport. The players are very excited about the news, and hopefully we can just keep on improving."
The US Open, meanwhile, which takes place at Pebble Beach from Jun 13-16, will see its total purse increase to US$12.5 million.
"The USGA is committed to providing an unparalleled experience to every player competing in its championships," USGA championships director John Bodenhamer said in a statement which announced the cash boost.
Tiger Woods earned US$2.07 million for his win at the Masters in April, where the purse totalled US$11.5 million.
Brooks Koepka won US$1.98 million with his win at the PGA Championship earlier this month. The PGA Championship purse weighed in at US$11 million. The British Open offered US$10.5 million last year.