Six years on, the AIG Ladies’s Open is being performed on the HCEG’s treasured Muirfield. And girls’s golf has “exploded”, believes Slumbers.
Those that voted to exclude ladies from the Honourable Firm of Edinburgh Golfers in 2016 brought about the other impact to that meant, believes R&A chief government Martin Slumbers.
Prizemoney for the AIG Ladies’s Open has risen by 125% in simply 4 years because the R&A and lead sponsor introduced an additional hike forward of this historic championship.
When AIG got here on board as title sponsor in 2018 the whole prizefund was simply £2.7 million. This 12 months’s championship sees it rise to only over £6m, up from the £4.8m paid out at Carnoustie final 12 months.
This 12 months’s champion will take dwelling simply over £900,000. The greenback equal breaks the a million mark for the primary time. Anna Norqvist gained £718,000 as champion at Carnoustie.
The R&A’s chief government Martin Slumbers stated that new rise was reflective of different championships elevating their prizefunds. The USGA raised the US Ladies’s Open to a haul of £8.25 million ($10m) this 12 months.
In simply six years because the HCEG vote brought about such outcry – it was reversed lower than a 12 months later – the entire image has modified, stated Slumbers.
“It was an vital time for this sport and for the R&A,” he stated. “We had been working very laborious on a technique for the R&A that had inclusivity very a lot as part of it.
“We have been to start with phases of merging with the Girls Golf Union. Frankly, that merger reworked the R&A into the place we’re right this moment.
“I feel that whenever you suppose again over that six-year interval since then, ladies’s golf has actually exploded.
“It’s obtained an extended approach to go but. However I do suppose that that point shall be considered as pivotal in that change.”
And it was vital to say that this championship shouldn’t be “penance” for Muirfield earlier than the Open Championship returns, he stated.
“These are two very impartial choices,” he stated. “We have been considering ‘the place can we wish to place the championship, relative to all the opposite work we do on selling ladies’s golf?’