Matt Fitzpatrick is the defending champ at the US Open. Patrick Smith

Two years after offering $12.5 million in prize money payouts at Torrey Pines, the USGA announced on Wednesday that the players at this week’s US Open will be competing for a record $20 million purse — the biggest pay day in the history of the men’s major championship golf.

Mike Whan, USGA CEO, said the decision to increase from last year’s $17.5 million was done understanding “what else is going on in the [golf] world,” alluding to the PGA Tour’s $20 million purses for designated events as well as LIV Golf’s $20 million offers for their individual events. Within a year, there were almost two dozen men’s tournaments played for purses that exceed any of the four men’s majors.

The US Open winner on Sunday will earn $3.6 million, the same amount winners of PGA Tour designated events receive and a bump from the $3.15 million Matt Fitzpatrick cashed a year ago at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

“I think it was November last year we budgeted $20 [million],” Whan said when meeting with the media at LACC. “We feel great about the purse. We feel great about the size of this event.”

The increase comes on the heels of the Masters and the PGA Championship raising their purses in 2023 to $18 million and $17.5 million, respectively.

“We’re not in a chase to be the biggest cheque,” Whan said, “but we want to make sure that the money and the opportunity here, whether they’re a tour player, a college player, an amateur, however they got here, that’s still part of the bigness and we believe it is.”