The LPGA isn’t the only women’s golf tour introducing record purses this year. The newly re-sponsored Epson Tour, the LPGA’s main feeder circuit, will conduct 21 tournaments this season while offering $4.41 million in total prize money.
That number is up from the previous high of $4 million (from 2019) with the average purse per event increasing from $194,000 to $210,000.
“We’re grateful for tournament partners and host venues that continue to invest in Epson Tour athletes,” said Mike Nichols, chief business officer of LPGA Qualifying Tours. “Five years ago, fewer than 1 in 5 tournaments were playing for a $200,000 purse. Now this mark is the new minimum threshold for every event, opening new doors for all individuals chasing their dream of one day playing on the LPGA Tour.”
The upcoming Epson Tour season will begin March 4-6 with the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in Winter Haven, Florida. It will conclude Oct. 6-9 with the Epson Tour Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida, where once again the top 10 points earners will graduate to the LPGA. This year, those 10 grads will also be offered $10,000 each to wear the Epson Tour logo on their sleeve as they begin their LPGA careers.
The highest purse for an individual event will be the Aug. 4-7 French Lick Resort Charity Championship, which will feature a $335,000 purse with $50,000 to the winner. For comparison, the top earner in 2013, P.K. Kongkraphan, earned $47,283 for the whole season.
“To see the Epson Tour continue to elevate since I graduated in 2016 is great for the game of golf,” said Ally Ewing, the LPGA Board’s newest player director. “I earned just over $110,000 when purse sizes averaged roughly $139,000, so a 50% growth over such a short span is both encouraging and essential to creating a financially viable path for these future LPGA Tour members.”
Here’s a look at the 2022 Epson Tour schedule: