It’s rare to see this type of disparity in pay, but it’s at the heart of a new study from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. Schauffele, a 23-year-old golf pro from San Diego, was awarded $12,000 for his bronze medal, while Pan, a 28-year-old Chinese swimmer, was awarded $58,000 for his silver medal. This pay gap isn’t unusual, as female golfers have won $1.8 million less than their male counterparts since 2000. The figures in every other sports are similar. For example, match-fixing in soccer has cost players $35 million in bribes.
The U.S. Open’s site states that American golfer Xander Schauffele received a $1.5 million check for winning the U.S. Open, but the golfer’s dad told The Post that his son’s caddie and coach, Christian T. Pan, was getting nearly $6 million more than Schauffele.
Pyeongchang was the first Olympics to have a new way of awarding medals. The 2016 bronze medalists, who won $15,000, even more than gold medal winners, which are worth $11,000. That’s what was lost on C.T. Pan, who won nearly $5.5 million for winning a bronze medal. For perspective, the gold medal winner, Xander Schauffele, won $1.4 million.
At the Tokyo Olympics, the men’s golf tournament was nothing short of thrilling. It was a late night/early morning for those in the United States who remained up to watch, but it was well worth it as around a dozen golfers had a chance to win a medal as they came down the stretch at Kasumigaseki Country Club. Xander Schauffele, of course, won gold for the United States, while Rory Sabbatini, 45, took silver with a throwback effort. Another surprise was Taiwanese C.T. Pan, who won bronze after surviving an extraordinary seven-man playoff, a bronze that paid him almost five times as much as the gold won by Schauffele.
What’s going on here?
Xander Schauffele took gold by a single stroke, while C.T. Pan had to make it via a seven-man playoff to win bronze.
Schauffele was considered one of the favorites heading into the Tokyo Olympics. He was the third-highest-ranked player in the 60-man field at the time, behind only American teammates Collin Morikawa (No. 3) and Justin Thomas (No. 2). (No. 4).
Schauffele started the week with a 3-under 68 on the par-71 course, then followed it up with an incredible 8-under 63 in round two to go to 11-under for the week. He shot a 4-under 67 in the third round and a 3-under 68 in the final round to finish at 18-under, one stroke ahead of Sabbatini, who stormed up the leaderboard with a 10-under 61 in the final round to win silver.
Pan, who entered the tournament as the world’s 208th-ranked player, dug himself a hole in the opening round with a 3-over 74, but battled his way back into medal contention over the last three days with rounds of 66, 66, and 63 to finish at 15-under after 72 holes. He subsequently won bronze after defeating Morikawa, Mito Pereira, Sebastian Munoz, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, and Hideki Matsuyama in a seven-man playoff.
Matsuyama and Casey were eliminated after making bogey on the first playoff hole, while McIlroy, Munoz, and Pereira were eliminated after the second, leaving Morikawa, who had recently won The Open Championship two weeks before, and Pan to compete on the 500-yard par-4 18th. Both missed the fairway and the green in regulation, but Morikawa’s third was considerably more difficult, and he couldn’t get up and down for par. After a nice chip and a pure putt, Pan was able to join Schauffele and Sabbatini on the medal podium.
Pan’s bronze was worth almost five times as much as Schauffele’s gold.
C.T. Pan, Xander Schauffele, and Rory Sabbatini on the Tokyo Olympics medal stand | Getty Images/Chris Trotman
As most people are likely aware, no official prize money is awarded during the Olympics in any event. Each nation, on the other hand, chooses how much to award its competitors for winning any type of medal. The United States awards $37,500 for gold, $22,500 for silver, and $15,000 for bronze, thus Schauffele received $37,500 for his gold-medal performance.
According to Forbes, Taiwan (or Chinese Taipei) boasts the world’s second-highest compensation structure, behind only Singapore, with a gold medal worth 20 million New Taiwan dollars ($716,000) and a silver medal worth half that. Pan was awarded five million New Taiwan dollars, or around $179,000, for earning bronze. Pan received just over 4.77 times more money than Xander, despite finishing lower on the medal stand than Schauffele.
On the PGA Tour, Xander has made 3.21 times more money.
In the great scheme of things, Schauffele and Pan aren’t in desperate need of the money they earned in the Olympics. However, if we’re comparing money earned in Tokyo, we may as well compare money won on the PGA Tour as well.
Despite earning 4.77 times less money than Pan for winning a gold medal, Schauffele has won 3.21 times more money on the PGA Tour. Schauffele has won $22,805,763 in 114 official tournaments, while Pan has won $7,093,652 in 133 official starts.
PGATour.com provided the statistics.
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