Money in women’s golf v. tennis

mulligan, 01 September 2006, Comments Off on Money in women’s golf v. tennis
Categories: Uncategorized

I read mulligan’s last post with interest, thinking about the money disparity between men and women in golf. The story got me thinking about what the situation is for women’s tennis. Here are my preliminary findings:

1. Greater parity in pay versus the men in tennis. There’s no doubt that tennis pays women more evenly compared to the men. At this year’s U.S. Open, for example, both the men’s and women’s winners will receive $1.2 million. That also means that the champion’s purse for women tennis players is typically much greater than for LPGA golfers.

2. Women tennis players seem to make close to the same as women golfers, on average. But here’s what surprised me. If you do a side-by-side comparison of the Top 100 money leaders on the LPGA and WTA tours, the money leaders appear to be pretty comparable in income earned thus far. Although the very Top Two women in tennis have earned a million more dollars than their LPGA counterparts, right now the LPGA has 2 more women over the million dollar mark than the WTA. Als0, the LPGA players ranked No. 4 through No. 82 have currently earned more than their WTA counterparts, in many cases by a lot.

Of course, there are several qualifications to this comparison. I’m not sure the LPGA and WTA have played a comparable number of events in their schedules thus far. The U.S. Open, which is occurring right now in New York, is a major tournament for tennis, which has a very large purse. Also, it may be that women’s tennis has many more players than the LPGA, so that more people are fighting for the larger purses in tennis — making the take-home money spread out more thinly among the ranks. On the PGA tour, however, the large purses appear to be “trickling down” from top to bottom.


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