Men’s Olympic Golf Recap By Nicolas Moore

Men’s Olympic Golf Recap

By Nicolas Moore

This past week, golfers from all over the world competed in the Olympic Games. The tournament seemed no different from a normal PGA tour event, consisting of 72 holes of stroke play, but it was so much more than that. It brought out pride in every golfer, knowing they were representing their country in an effort to earn a medal. Each winner had a unique story and experience after competing in the tournament this week. 

Xander Schauffele (United States)

The player who took home the gold was none other than Xander Schauffele, a young American golfer who is originally from San Diego, California. Xander’s game speaks for itself with his four PGA tour wins, 10 second-place finishes, and seven top-10 finishes this season according to 

His motivation to win the gold medal this week came from his father, Stefan Schauffele, who was deprived of his Olympic dreams years ago. Stefan Schauffele was a decathlon athlete who was set to compete for Germany in the Olympics, over 40 years ago when a drunk driver slammed into his car, forcing a piece of glass into his left eye, making him lose sight in that eye for the rest of his life. The accident derailed his chances to compete in the Olympics. This motivated Xander Schauffele to take home a medal and honor his father. Immediately after finishing his round, his father was waiting for him off the green, allowing them to hug and bask in the moment. Winning the gold made for a fitting end to Xander Schauffele’s Olympic trip.  

Rory Sabbatini (Slovakia)

Rory Sabbatini, a six-time PGA tour winner, took home the silver medal for the men’s 2020 Olympic golf competition. 

Sabbatini had an interesting road to qualifying for the competition. Originally born in South Africa, he married a woman from Slovakia and was convinced to become a dual citizen. His wife’s cousin, President of the Slovak Golf Association Rastislav Antala, was the one who pushed him to acquire a dual citizenship to help grow the game of golf in Slovakia, per Golf Digest. Sabbatini played an amazing final round by shooting a 10-under par 61, which allowed him to finish just one shot behind Schauffele to earn his silver medal. 

C.T. Pan (Chinese Taipei)

C.T. Pan, who took home the bronze medal, is a 29-year-old professional golfer from Taiwan who has one win on the PGA tour. C.T. Pan earned his first win back in 2019 at the RBC Heritage, where he first proved his game could hold up against golf’s top professionals. Once again, he proved his game could hold up by winning in amazing fashion, coming out on top of a seven-man playoff for the bronze medal. He took Collin Morikawa, a young United States golfer, to a fourth playoff hole, where he made a par to take home the bronze medal. 

Pan had a very unique Olympic experience since he had his wife, Yingchun Lin, caddied for him during the event. He noted that this helped him to stay calm and keep his mood light and happy throughout the tournament, per Golf Digest. His steady demeanor and strong game helped him to stay focused, creating a great up-and-down for par in order to prevail on the final playoff hole. 

Some other notable players from the seven-man playoff include Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, and Rory Mcilroy. 

Hideki Matsuyama, who also won the Masters earlier this year, was representing Japan. It was a special week for him to be playing in his home country, wearing the Japanese flag as he hunted down an Olympic medal. His attempt to earn the bronze was valiant, but not enough when the day was over. 

Rory Mcilroy, representing Ireland, was originally not very motivated to play in the Olympic tournament, but soon started playing well and ended up in the playoff for the bronze. He played some strong golf in the playoffs, but was unable to earn a medal for Ireland. 

Collin Morikawa, who won the British Open earlier in July, was representing his home country of the U.S. and continued his great play in the tournament. He was able to fight until the end for the bronze medal, but was unable to prevail over Pan. 

The 2020 Men’s Olympic golf Competition was one that will go down in history as a well-played tournament, many great names taking home a medal, with all golfers contributing valiant efforts in bringing home medals for their countries.