Milestone Alert! 2023 US Women’s Open Ft. Nelly Korda, Rose Zhang, and More Doesn’t Disappoint as It Breaks a Self-Made Record From Last Year

Published 07/06/2023, 11:30 AM EDT

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Only a handful of sports venues across the globe boast as rich a history as the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. From Tiger Woods‘ unbelievable win at the 2000 US Open by 15 strokes to Jordan Spieth‘s remarkable (and dangerous) shot from the edge of a cliff, the sea-hugging jewel has bore testimony to many of golf’s most spectacular moments over the decades.

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Unlike their male counterparts, however, female players never got the chance to leave their own mark at the landmark venue. Until now. With an increased purse, record TV coverage, and more, the 78th US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach is all set to turn a new page for the women’s game that has often been overshadowed by men’s golf!

What the US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach means for women’s golf

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If I only had one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach,” 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus once remarked about the historic golf course. After all, it was the venue for two of his most iconic wins, the 1961 US Amateur and the 1972 US Open.

To date, Pebble Beach has played host to seven men’s major tournaments, six US Opens, and one PGA Championship. The last US Open at the venue took place as recently as 2019! In comparison, the 1951 Weathervane Transcontinental Women’s Open, which Patty Berg won, was the last LPGA event at the course.

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Even the who’s who of the Tour has acknowledged the sheer magnitude of Pebble Beach hosting its first women’s major. LPGA’s Jin Young Ko reminisced about the times she witnessed Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland’s incredible feats at the venue. Meanwhile, 2007 Chevron Championship winner Morgan Pressel stressed the sheer significance of the history-making event, saying, “There’s nothing more important to elevate these championships than to put them on historic venues like Pebble Beach. They withstand the test of time. They outlive any single player of any era.

Many of the biggest players on the Tour have never even played Pebble Beach in a casual setting! Lydia Ko paid her first visit to the course in the spring of 2023. Nelly Korda saw every hole at the venue for the first time ever, just days before the major. Meanwhile, LPGA great Michelle Wie West played nine holes at the course for the first time in May of this year. 10-time major winner and golfing legend Annika Sorenstam, who has played in only one US Women’s Open since 2006 too could not turn down the golden opportunity to compete at Pebble Beach, after being offered a special exemption.

Nelly Korda: A Look Back Into Her US Women’s Open Career as She Aims to Conquer the Majestic Pebble Beach This Week

The 2023 US Women’s Open will also be quite a TV production. Fans’ eyes will be fixed on how the LPGA stars navigate their way around Pebble Beach. The presence of young trailblazers like Ruoning Yin and Rose Zhang further promises great excitement for fans. The organizers have even significantly bumped up the prize purse to a jaw-dropping $11 million. This will further translate to the largest-ever payout in women’s golf, breaking last year’s record!

The $11 million US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach is set to be a spectacle unlike any other

It’s quite an orchestra,” remarked Joe Podany of the USGA about the broadcast of the event at Pebble Beach Golf Links. NBC will air the final two rounds of the tournament until 9 p.m. EDT. This will mark the first time a women’s major will be broadcast live in primetime on Network TV. Peacock, USA Network, and NBC together will air an incredible 26 hours of live golf throughout the event’s four-day run!

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Meanwhile, the winner also stands to win a historic amount at the tournament this year. The total purse for the major had gone from $5.5 million in 2021 to a record-breaking $10 million in 2022. This year, the purse stands at a record $11 million! It means the winning golfer will take home a whopping $2 million in earnings! In another huge stride for women’s golf, USGA CEO Mike Whan has declared $12 million as the next big target!

The 78th edition of the US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach is just the beginning. “Playing for bigger purses and not playing on iconic venues is not a sustainable model,” Michelle Wie West, who plans on stepping away from golf after this week’s event, had noted earlier. The venue on California’s Monterey Peninsula will host three more editions of the event (2035, 2040, and 2048). Additionally, several more historic courses are already lined up for USGA-backed events: Riviera, Oakmont, Oakland Hills, and Pinehurst, among others!

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Watch This Story: Despite Her Bitter History With LPGA Pros, Paige Spiranac Bestows Praises Upon Nelly Korda: “The Full Package”

What are your expectations from the 2023 US Women’s Open? Do you think this tournament will significantly boost the women’s game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by:

Abantika Ghosh

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One take at a time

Abantika is a fresh writer at EssentiallySports who was chosen in the recent round of ‘ES Draft’ for her strong passion for golf writing. Even in her early days, Abantika has displayed an impressive ability to cover golf with gripping and insightful stories backed by thorough research. Her inspiration comes from the words of the legendary golfer and flag-bearer of the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy: "As long as I keep enjoying my golf, then hopefully I'll be able to play well," which motivates her to continue writing engaging pieces.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira

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