The L.P.G.A. Commissioner Michael Whan said he was pleased that 14 women earned $ 1 million this season. In 2010, his first year at work, the number was eight. And then, he said, he looked up the PGA Tour money list and saw that 114 players in 2017-18 had earned at least $ 1 million. "I thought, O.K., we still have a bit of room to go," said Whan.
They make slow but steady progress. In the run-up to last week's final season at the Tiburon Golf Club, Terry Duffy, the chairman and chief executive of the CME Group, the tournament sponsor of the tournament, announced that the stock market would double next year to $ 5 million , with a $ 1.5 million record for the winner (about $ 600,000 higher than the US Women's Open this year).
Although Duffy, an enthusiastic golfer with a handicap of a figure, is willing to raise the ante for the ladies' game, he has little interest in the high class competition between Mickelson and Woods.
"I would not pay to see that," Duffy said. "That kind of money should have a lot of beneficiaries."
Brittany Lincicome, a two-time major winner who started a PGA Tour in July, is always looking for a way to bring more people into the game. At the L.P.G.A. season finale in Naples, Florida, she invited Reilly Kirwin, an 8-year-old from nearby Bonita Springs, to join her in the ropes for a nine-hole pro-am.
She left Reilly, a budding golfer, hit a putt and chip, and entertained all her questions. Two days later, Lincicome opened with a 64 and told the reporters that the time she spent with Reilly had inspired her to take a carefree child.
"Her philosophy was when it would come up in the air and it comes green, then it's okay," Lincicome, 33, said, adding: "I actually went back to my 8- or 10-year-old roots. "
Mickelson and Woods will get pay-per-view in golf off the ground, but they missed the target. Perhaps the next exhibition expands more than the bank account of one man.