Patrick Cantlay’s Lack of Headgear Takes Center Stage at the Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is known for its fierce competition, camaraderie, and passionate fans. However, in the 2023 edition of the prestigious tournament, one player’s decision to forgo headgear became the unexpected talking point of the event. Patrick Cantlay, a member of the United States team, made headlines for his lack of a team-branded cap throughout the competition.
Various reports suggested that Cantlay’s decision to go hatless was a protest against the lack of pay for USA players during the Ryder Cup. The event is known for its tradition of unpaid participation, which has been a subject of debate in recent years. However, Cantlay himself dismissed these claims, stating that the team caps simply do not fit his head.
Speculation surrounding Cantlay’s motives extended beyond his protest against player compensation. Some believed that the golfer’s decision was influenced by his upcoming wedding. Cantlay had chosen to combine his trip to Italy for the Ryder Cup with his marriage to his long-term partner, Nikki Guidish. The couple tied the knot in a stunning ceremony in Rome just 24 hours after the USA’s defeat to Europe.
The Daily Mail recently published photos of Cantlay wearing a USA hat after his wedding ceremony, leading to speculation that the 31-year-old was actually trying to avoid getting a “golfer’s tan” on his forehead before his big day. Golfers often develop unwanted tan lines on their forehead due to prolonged sun exposure while wearing a cap. The fear of uneven tan lines may have motivated Cantlay’s decision to go hatless.
The controversy surrounding Cantlay’s headgear, which has been dubbed “Hatgate” by the media, indirectly sparked a quarrel between Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, and European player Rory McIlroy. During the tournament, European fans in Rome taunted Cantlay by swirling their caps and chanting “hats off for your bank account.” When Cantlay sunk a crucial putt to defeat McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick, LaCava waved his hat towards the crowd. However, McIlroy was infuriated by LaCava’s gesture, as he still had a putt to tie the match. The incident led to a heated confrontation between McIlroy and members of the US team in a car park.
Despite the controversy and tensions that emerged, Cantlay continued to dismiss claims that his decision to go hatless caused rifts within the USA team. He reiterated that the hats provided to the players did not fit him properly and that he had decided to remain consistent by not wearing a hat throughout the tournament.
While the Ryder Cup is primarily a golf competition, the absence of a simple piece of headgear turned Patrick Cantlay into a polarizing figure during the event. Whether it was due to a protest, wedding preparations, or the desire to avoid tan lines, Cantlay’s choice sparked debates and added an unexpected twist to the renowned tournament’s narrative.