The chairman of the U.S. Golf Association women's committee today defended the organization's decision to come to remote Old Waverly this week for the U.S. Women's Open and said she did not believe it was realistic for her panel to demand that the prize money here be equal to that of the men's Open at Pinehurst (N.C.) in two weeks.
The women will be playing for the largest purse on the LPGA Tour this week in Mississippi, a total of $1.75 million and a winner's share of $315,000. The men's U.S. Open in two weeks has a $3.5 million purse, with $625,000 going to the champion.
Mary Capouch of Mandeville, La., said her committee has requested that the USGA's executive committee make the prize money more equitable in the association's two major professional championships, but that until the Women's Open produces an equal amount of revenue, that likely will not happen. The U.S. Tennis Federation currently has the same purses for men and women in the U.S. Open, with both playing at the same time at the same venue in New York.
"We would say we have asked for equal prize money, but it's been an unrealistic question and we realize that," she said.