Golf really is at its most cringeworthy when it's either getting upset about things it shouldn't or trying too hard to be cool, writes Alex Perry
When I opened Twitter on Saturday evening and saw “hoodie” was trending, I wondered if it might be to do with Tyrrell Hatton wearing a hooded Adidas top at the BMW PGA Championship. I chuckled to myself at the absurdity of even thinking it. Turns out that’s exactly what it was about. FML.
We’ve written about this subject on far too many occasions for our liking…
- Alex Perry: Hey, dress code vigilante, leave them kids alone!
- Steve Carroll: It’s time to abolish the dress code – and there’s proof in every golf club
- Angry Club Golfer: We’re in the middle of a pandemic and you’re STILL arguing about dress codes?
- Paul Lawrie: Golf needs to relax its rules
But now these situations take a strange life of their own, largely intensified by everyone and their dog having a social media platform with which to thumb in their every waking thought.
All it takes is one or two comments for these things to take on a life of their own – but it’s not just those who are upset by seeing Hatton wearing a hoodie that are the most cringeworthy, it’s those defending him too.
It feels like everyone is trying to out-cool each other. Men and women in their 30s and 40s trying so hard to be down with the kids they’re about two steps away from making a TikTok video. Or using phrases like “FML”.
If you had “moving with the times” on your golf cliche bingo card, then scratch that off. There’s nothing “modern” about a hoodie, folks – just watch Game of Thrones. Or Mississippi Burning.
At least the dress code vigilantes stick by their guns. It wasn’t like this in their day, you see.
Anyway, one more time for those in the back: It doesn’t affect you in any way shape or form what someone else wears when they’re playing golf.
And, thankfully, the target was Hatton, someone who couldn’t care less if his life depended on it. Look, he even changes his shoes in the car park…
“We don’t want [golf] to be snobby,” Hatton said. “I think you need to move on from that. It’s comfortable when you play golf in it and it looks good, then I don’t see an issue.”
Oh, and he made a TikTok.
On the course, the Englishman somehow managed to brush off criticism from the Twitterati to win the European Tour title he so desperately wanted. Hatton, we were told constantly over the weekend, grew up in nearby High Wycombe and attended this event many times as a child.
In the end it was a relatively straight-forward day for him. He was never really troubled, aside from Victor Perez getting within one a couple of times, and in the end a 5-under 67 saw him win by four.
Hatton’s victory also saw him into the top 10 in the world rankings – Rory McIlroy is the only player from these shores above him – and increase his bank balance by almost 900,000 quid.
The shot of the week at Wentworth, though, goes to another hoodie ambassador, Jordan Smith, who aced the West course’s par-3 2nd – not that he knew much about it…
The second best shot of the week, incidentally, was by Smith’s girlfriend Ellie Melling…
Nothing like getting home and taking a barrel-load of glitter to the face.
What happened across the pond?
While you lot were all talking about someone’s clothes, Sei Young Kim was putting together an incredible round to win her first major at the Women’s PGA Championship.
Kim’s major record before this win was pretty impressive, with eight top-10s in 28 starts.
The 27-year-old, who was sporting a black sweater over a while polo, shot a final-day 63 to win by five at Aronimink.
It means four of the five women’s majors are currently held by South Korean players, with Germany’s Sophia Popov being the anomoly.
The final major of the season comes at the US Women’s Open in December, where American players will be looking to avoid a second straight year without a major champion. That’s only happened on five occasions – all since the turn of the century.
And the PGA Tour?
Martin Laird holed perhaps the most ridiculous bunker shot at the par-5 9th to take a three shot lead down the stretch at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
It was the Scot’s third eagle of the week on a hole which he was 7-under-par.
But Laird stuttered with an even-par back nine to allow Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff to catch him at 23-under.
The trio headed back down 18, which they all parred, and then on to the par-3 17th, where Laird rolled in this birdie putt for his fourth PGA Tour victory – his second in this event and first since 2013.
On the PGA Tour Champions, meanwhile, it was quite the battle at the top of the SAS Championship between Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and Vijay Singh.
They were the only three to reach double figures under par when Els did this at 18…
Els, just shy of his 51st birthday, now has two wins on the senior circuit, which is now becoming far more appealing to people my age as players we grew up with start to make the step up.
That’s enough from me. What a week. Follow me on Twitter if that’s your thing – but only if you’re cool.