A Ryder Cup on European soil doesn’t truly begin until stories of the US team being “fractured” start to roll in. In other words, the 2023 Ryder Cup officially began on Saturday when, Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir tweeted this story about Patrick Cantlay allegedly refusing to wear a United States hat in protest over players not being paid to play in the biennial team event:

It just so happened that while this story began to spread like wildfire, the American squad was getting trounced again in morning foursomes, further fanning the flames. Because when the U.S. team gets blown out on the road, it’s never about the fact that they are simply getting beat and/or playing poor golf. It’s because one guy is refusing to wear a hat, or some other drama that takes away from the Europeans’ performance. 

Sam Burns curses the crowd after having his mullet mocked

That said, it does make for some exquisite content. Case in point, what happened during the afternoon fourball session in Cantlay’s match with teammate Wyndham Clark. Apparently, the European fans caught wind of the HatGate story, and they responded in kind:

As you can hear, Paul Azinger was having none of it, calling the HatGate story “hearsay,” “garbage” and “clickbait,” before couching it by saying it could be true that Cantlay does want to be paid. Also, there’s this photo from two days ago, in which Cantlay is the only member of the team without the hat on:

Nothing to see here, surely.