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Golf Australia Express : Issue 24
By Sam Gole VIEW THE PRO’S LOVE Sunday. Why? Because it’s pay day. Yet not everyone is laughing all the way to the bank. There’s a staggering disparity in what the game’s best earn and it’s not performance based. It’s gender-based. Just look at this week’s PGA and LPGA tours for proof of this ugly inequality. The PGA’s WGC-Accenture Match Play, and LPGA’s HSBC Women’s Champions titles both boast quality fields with the top 64 players in the world competing. Both feature players with incredible scoring ability, great characters of the game and future stars. In Singapore the women will play for a share of $1.4 million. In Arizona the men play for $8.5 million—the winner alone will pocket $1.4 million. That’s right, one bloke will earn the same sum of money diced up to 64 of the best women golfers going around. It’s the same story most weeks. In 2012, LPGA members will play for $47 million in total purses. By Sunday, and just two months into the season, that total will already have been surpassed on the PGA Tour. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? And when it comes to individual performances, the divide is pronounced. Take last year’s winnings of golf’s world No. 1s. On the LPGA Tour, Yani Tseng played 22 events for seven wins, 14 top 10s and finished better than 30th 21 times. On the PGA Tour, Donald played 19 events for 2 wins, 14 top 10s and finished better than 30th 16 times. They both had career- best seasons. But while Tseng banked $2,921,713, Donald cashed in $6,683,214. In fact 22 men on the PGA Tour made more money than Tseng. Then look at position 125 on both Tours. D.J. Trahan on the PGA Tour took home $668,166— 40 times more than Jennifer Rosales’s $16,427 on the LPGA. While I agree the PGA still edges to LPGA in terms of the depth of quality of the field, not to the tune of $650,000? Come on. But it’s not the fault of the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour or its players. It all comes down to sponsorship and that investment rests in the hands of the corporate world. In the 62 years since the LPGA was founded in 1950 when 13 women golfers banded together to form a golf tour for their gender, we’ve seen an equality of sorts established in the corporate world. It’s time a similar balancing act appeared in golf. Come on corporates, these girls deserve it, too. OTG TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS: email@example.com NEXT WEEK: The Editor’s rebuttal TIME TO PAY UP There’s no justification for the difference in prizemoney between the men’s and women’s tours, writes Sam Gole.