[PHOTOS: Tracy Wilcox]
Patrick Cantlay’s hat – or, rather, a lack thereof – became a focus at last year’s Ryder Cup. But as a new PGA Tour season gets underway this week, the golfer hopes his new headwear draws attention for a different reason.
That’s because Cantlay is wearing caps with a First Responders Children’s Foundation logo at Kapalua for the Sentry, which starts tomorrow, Australian time. The 31-year-old has a new partnership with the organisation, according to Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press.
“Supporting first responders, their families and the communities they serve is very important to me,” Cantlay said. “We look forward to spotlighting the vital contributions of first responders while also tending to the unique challenges that their children and families experience.”
That message is especially impactful this week at a golf tournament being played about 15 kilometres from Lahaina, where deadly wildfires spread last August. Cantlay and the FRCF are launching a fundraising campaign to aid first responder families affected by that natural disaster that killed 100 people. Ferguson reports a Patrick Cantlay Scholarship will also come from this partnership. Here’s a better look at the hat:
Cantlay became the centre of controversy at the Ryder Cup in September when it was reported that he refused to wear the USA’s hats in protest of players not being paid to play in the biennial event. Cantlay has denied that report, contending the hats didn’t fit him.
Regardless, the situation resulted in fans at the event taunting him, and an extra-tense finish to a Saturday match. Caddie Joe LaCava enthusiastically joined the Americans celebrating a holed Cantlay putt on the final hole by walking across the green and waving his hat around, which upset opponent Rory McIlroy.
It should be noted that Cantlay has worn hats with a Goldman Sachs logo in recent years, but the bank ended its endorsement deal with the eight-time PGA Tour winner in November. Regardless, Cantlay once again has people talking about what’s on his head – and this time, that can only be taken as a positive.