PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Scotty Scheffler, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, and three or four other golfers were seen briefly during Saturday’s third round of the PGA Championship. I was walking around the August grounds at Oak Hill Country Club. Their hats are worn backwards.
“It makes me feel cool,” Rose said. “Young. Hip.”
The attire for Saturday’s 105th PGA Championship did not mark a revolution in relaxed golfing practices. That said, it’s also true that reversing the cap, which isn’t standard in professional golf, didn’t result in penalties, jeers or disqualifications, and ultimately created a welcome informality in golf. It may be.
The world’s top golfers were experimenting with how best to use their headgear as a relentless rainstorm hit Oak Hill Country Club all day.
So Rose, 42, didn’t try to remake her image. That’s what he was joking about. He got wet from the rain, so he put his hat on backwards and put his head down to hit the golf ball, the water droplets dripping past his eyes and onto the ball.
“I was a little disappointed, actually,” Rose said. “I got a few drops of water on the top of my backswing and it got me distracted.
McIlroy offered a similar explanation, but admitted that neither he nor Rose had ever worn a hat backwards in a major golf championship.
It’s known as a cure for the sloppy rainy days that are regularly found at municipal golf courses in bad weather, but it looked a little jarring when shown by the world’s best golfers.
And just in case you’re wondering, a spokesperson for the PGA of America, which hosts the PGA Championship, confirmed that there is a dress code for players, but golfers are punished. I’ve never been hit or sent off, so it doesn’t appear to be against the rules to wear your hat backwards. course.
In fact, Rose, Schaeffler, McIlroy, and another backward hat rebel, Justin Hsu, were each in the top 10 going into Sunday’s final round, so perhaps they’re known by most of the other golfers. Maybe he knew something he didn’t.
The Sopping Hat Squad was the most obvious example of the many adjustments all golfers on the field had to make due to Saturday’s rainstorm.
The rough weather also highlighted the importance of the player-caddie relationship. Nothing is more complicated than the passing of umbrellas between players and caddies, which is almost always done in the same order thousands of times during a rainy round. It is either comical or epitomizes efficient, implicit coordination.
Usually on the fairway the gallery of fans is in full view and looks like this:
Players hold umbrellas over their heads and bags, caddies roam in the pouring rain, trying to gauge the distance to the green for their next shot. When the caddy returns, the player hands over the umbrella and chooses a club from the bag. The caddy hangs a towel from the spokes inside the umbrella to wipe the grip of the club. As the player walks towards his ball on the fairway, the caddy holds the umbrella over the player’s head, but not over his own. This protection of the player is provided until seconds before the player starts swinging towards the ball. At that moment, Caddy walks over to the side. At this time, the caddy makes sure he holds his umbrella over the player’s golf bag. This is because keeping the bag wet is more important than keeping the caddy wet.
When the ball is hit, the player hands the club to the caddy, who hands the umbrella. Players headed for their own balls and caddies walked defenselessly from behind in the rain.
Or as world-ranked golfer Jon Rahm said on Saturday. he is making sacrifices. “
But Rahm has a high regard for his caddy Adam Hayes and knows what he’s endured.
“We had about two inches of water in the bottom of our bag today,” he said. “And his clothes got soaked. He must be carrying about 35 pounds of water on his back now. His work is especially important on rainy days.”
Stefan Yeager, who packed seven towels and other gear in his golf bag to survive a five-hour round in the rain, said he thought his bag weighed 70 pounds on Saturday. The whole experience of constantly changing umbrellas, wiping rain off the brim of his hat, and judging how many yards the wet grass blocks shots exhausted Jaeger, tied for 10th.
“It’s a big effort,” he said after a few minutes’ walk from the golf course. “Once you sit down and settle down, I think you can feel it. I think the adrenaline wears off a bit and it’s pretty exhausting. It’s a lot to think about, a lot to consider.”
Yeager was asked if he ever practiced in the rain between tournaments to get used to the experience.
Yeager immediately answered “no.”