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BRONZE! Pan Wins Medal After Seven-Man Playoff

Aug 1, 2021
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Former Husky C.T. Pan showed some serious mettle in earning an Olympic medal, rallying from way down the leaderboard to make a seven-man playoff and then outlasting the competition to earn a bronze medal for Chinese Taipei. 

Pan entered the final round of action on Sunday at Kasumigaseki Country Club sitting in 17th and staring up the leaderboard five shots out of contention for a medal. Undeterred, Pan fired an 8-under 63 to finish 72 holes of action at 15-under 269. He then waited in the clubhouse as others finished their rounds, holding onto hope that his score would hold up in the bronze-medal position.

Sure enough, only Gold medalist Xander Schauffele (-18) and Silver medalist Rory Sabbatini (-17) could separate themselves from a pack of seven players -- Pan, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Paul Casey, Sebastián Muñoz and Mito Pereira -- that finished at 15-under. 

On the third playoff hole, Pan and American Morikawa (Cal) tallied birdies to cut the playoff to two Pac-12 golfers.

On the fourth playoff hole, Morikawa, the 2021 Open Champion, plugged his second shot into a greenside bunker, opening the door for Pan. After scrambling out of the sand, Morikawa missed his par putt and Pan sank his from eight feet out to earn the bronze medal, setting off a wild celebration with his wife, Michelle, who served as his caddy, and his teammates from Chinese Taipei.

Pan's accomplishment is all the more remarkable considering he was tied for 57th in the 60-man field after shooting a 3-over 74 in the first round. But Pan would record back-to-back scores of 66 in the second and third rounds, setting the table for Sunday's comeback.

"It came as a surprise to me," Pan said of his comeback. "After day one's (+3) 74 I texted one of my good friends that the struggle is real. So it's quite a turnaround this week winning the bronze medal, something I couldn't even think about after Thursday's round. Overall, that was a very happy ending."

Fellow Husky Carl Yuan (China) shot an even-par 71 in the final round and ended the tournament tied for 38th at 6-under overall.