5 pro golfers who won gold medals in past Olympics

golf ball in the green grass close to the hole
(© zozzzzo – stock.adobe.com)

With the men’s individual golf event currently underway at the 2020 Summer Olympics, now seems the best time to talk about past gold medalists in this sport. After all, your favorite golfer could join their ranks by the games’ conclusion. But who did win gold in past games? Check them out below.

Charles Sand (United States)

1900 Summer Olympics

While Charles Sands has been playing golf since 1895, his career in the sport is anything but promising. At one point, he participated in the first US Amateur golf tournament. And though he managed to make it through the finals, he was soundly defeated by Charles B. MacDonald.

But during the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, Sands managed to nab the gold medal in the 36-hole golf tournament. With a score of 82 and 85, he defeated Scottish golfer Walter Rutherford by a single stroke. He would later be inducted posthumously into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.

Margaret Abbott (United States)

1900 Summer Olympics

At the same time, Margaret Abbott went on to become the first American woman to win not only the women’s golf tournament, but also the entire Olympic event. Despite the adversity she (and other women athletes) faced during that era, Abbott persevered to beat Pauline Whittier and Daria Pratt for the gold medal.

Unfortunately, Abbott’s victory was not well known until decades later. Thankfully, she would be later recognized for her achievements.

George Lyon (Canada)

1904 Summer Olympics

At age 38, George Seymour Lyon entered his golfing career relatively late. Indeed, throughout his career, he never went pro! However, at age 46 he won the gold medal during the Games of the III Olympiad. He subsequently reigned as the Olympic golf champion for more than a century, until Englishman Justin Rose claimed the gold in 2016.

Lyon’s other achievements include founding the Lambton Golf and Country Club in Toronto, as well as winning the Canadian Amateur Championship eight times. He was posthumously inducted to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1971.

Justine Rose (Great Britain)

2016 Summer Olympics

The year 2016 not only saw the return of golf in the Olympics after 112 years, but also Justine Rose’s rise to prominence as the new Olympic golf gold medalist. In the opening day alone, he achieved renown by making a hole-in-one during an Olympic play, the first person to do so.

Rose would later go on to play in other golf competitions. He currently lives with his family in Albany, New Providence in The Bahamas.

Inbee Park (South Korea)

2016 Summer Olympics

Alongside Rose is Inbee Park, the gold medalist for the women’s division of the golf tournament at the 2016 Summer Olympics. At 27, she was the youngest golfer to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame, as well as compete in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

She managed to win the tournament after defeating Lydia Ko by five strokes. This would earn her the gold medal, making her the first Olympic golf champion after more than one hundred years.

Final thoughts

As you can see, these individuals managed to make golf history despite the adversity they faced. If you want to follow their footsteps and become a golf player yourself, then nothing’s stopping you. So get the best golf clubs for beginners, go to the nearest course, and start putting.

Story by Isaias Lijauco


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