The R&A will take the Women’s British Open to Wales for the first time after announcing that Royal Porthcawl will host the major tournament in 2021.
The news comes as this year’s event teed off today (Thursday) on the Marquess’ Course at Woburn. As South Wales’s first 18-hole golf course, Royal Porthcawl was awarded the privilege of the prefix ‘Royal’ in 1909, only the second course in Wales and one of only 66 clubs around the world to have that distinction.
Royal Porthcawl’s 2021 Women’s British Open will follow on from Royal Troon, with the Scottish course also making its debut on the Championship roster in 2020.
Speaking on behalf of the Welsh Government, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “Wales has built its reputation as an outstanding destination for major international events and the AIG Women’s British Open event will help to maintain this momentum and highlights our commitment to bringing world class women’s sport to Wales.
“We are committing funding to work with the R&A, Wales Golf and clubs and schools across Wales to use the event and the Curtis Cup in Conwy in June next year to inspire more women and girls to take part in golf. Having these two great events in successive years at two fantastic venues like Conwy and Royal Porthcawl is a great boost for golf in Wales in general and women’s golf in particular.”
The R&A last month moved to address the disparity in prize money for The Open and its women’s counterpart by announcing that the 2019 Women’s British Open will see its prize purse increase by almost 40 per cent.
The Women’s British Open now offers the second highest prize fund of the five major championships in women’s golf at $4.5m (€4m). The increase comes in the first year of US insurance group AIG’s partnership as title sponsor and will see the winner take home a first prize of $675,000.
AIG in November agreed a five-year deal to become title sponsor of the Women’s British Open. AIG succeeds Japanese electronics company Ricoh in the role, with a contract running from 2019 to 2023. It is AIG’s first title sponsorship in professional golf.
The Women’s British Open was founded by the Ladies’ Golf Union in 1976 and has been staged in conjunction with the IMG agency since 1984. The event has been co-sanctioned by the Ladies Professional Golf Association and Ladies European Tour since 1994 and gained major status in 2001. The championship is now owned by The R&A.