Undoubtedly, the PGA Tour is much more celebrated than the LPGA Tour. But in recent years, it has been noted that people are also taking an active interest in women’s golf. There has also been an evident spike in viewership. For example, the 2023 US Open at the iconic Pebble Beach had a record-breaking viewership that crossed 1 million on NBC for the third and last round.
But despite the growing trajectory of the LPGA Tour and progressive achievements by women athletes, a pertinent problem that still remains is the disparity between men’s and women’s golf. One such instance came to light at last year’s season-end gap between the PGA Tour’s Rory McIlroy and the LPGA Tour’s Lydia Ko.
An insane discrepancy between LPGA and PGA Tour in the 2022 season-end
One would always notice a significant monetary inequity if the PGA Tour was compared with the LPGA Tour. And this is because a huge influx of money is invested in men’s golf.One such occasion garnered the attention of the golf world last year when Lydia Ko received her pay cheque after the CME Group Tour Championship and Rory McIlroy was handed his first price share at the end of the Tour Championship.
According to a report, the 2022 CME Group Tour Championship had a raise in its prize fund of $4 million as compared to 2020. The winner’s payout was also $2 million last year, bagged by Lydia Ko. And this was one of the record paydays last year. But if we take a look at McIlroy’s 2022 Tour Championship earnings after his 21-under-par performance, this LPGA number would seem meager.
McIlroy’s 2022 FedEx Cup title after 2019, resulted in ensuring a handsome prize check of $18 million. And while seven-digit earnings on the LPGA Tour are an astounding number, in the 2022 Tour Championship, golfers up to the rank of 10 received such payouts.
LPGA pro sheds light on a top-priority affair relating to women empowerment at the $9 million event
LPGA pro, Mel Reid, unravels her discrepancy frustration since there’s huge monetary variability between men’s and women’s golf. She was a contender at the AIG Women’s Open, which saw a big-scale purse raise of $1.7 million as compared to that of last year (the prize purse was $7.3 million). But still, the 35-year-old LPGA golfer is not content with it and dismisses AIG’s promise to sponsor the game with gender pay equity. She stated that the hope was vague considering the expenditures of the men’s golf tournaments.
Thus, in an interview, she said, “I think we’ve got still a way to go but it’s cool that sponsors are giving us the respect that we deserve and putting their money where their mouth is I guess.”
In addition to this, she also mentioned, “The men’s game has gone absolutely ridiculous. Catching up with them is going to be a heavy feat. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but when I first played the British Open to now, it’s astronomically different. It’s obviously great now for the girls to be able to come out and make a decent living.” She reflected on the fact that the disproportion in men’s and women’s golf still remains, even though the LPGA Tour has come a long way.