On Monday the R&A announced a significant increase in the purse size of next month’s AIG Women’s British Open, calling it “an important first step” toward equity with the men’s game.Using its own funds, the R&A will increase the total payout to $4.5 million, marking a rise of nearly 40 percent. The commitment will make the British Open the second-largest purse in the women’s game. The U.S. Women’s Open has a purse of $5.5 million.In 2018, Georgia Hall won the event and claimed $490,000 in the process. This year’s champion will take home $675,000. The deal is currently set for five years, coinciding with AIG’s commitment to the event, which runs through 2023.R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement, “We recognized that more needed to be done to elevate the prize fund for this great championship and are pleased that we have been able to make a significant increase this year as part of The R&A’s commitment to women’s golf.“This is an important first step and we know it will take time to move closer to achieving parity with the men’s game. We will continue to work toward the long-term goal of a sustainable business model but we can’t do it alone and the support of fans, sponsors and media are all key to achieving that success.”The 43rd AIG Women’s British Open will be held at Woburn Golf Club starting on Aug. 1. This will be the 10th time the event is held at Woburn, most recently in 2016, when Ariya Jutanugarn took home the title.