What is different to Joel Dahmen taking his shirt off and waving it about in delight and Harry Higgs raising his shirt up to his neck compared to the sight of both Henrik Stenson and Gary Woodland dropping their trousers?
The PGA Tour rumour mill has it that both Dahmen and Higgs will be fined for their respective and similar incidents at last week’s WM Phoenix Open after each holed-out at the par-3 16th for par in the final round.
Higgs showed his delight by raising his shirt to his neck and flashing his bright white chest while Dahmen went further, taking off his shirt and pretending to be a helicopter also after his par delight. The double ‘flashing of chests’ act was cheered on by 20,000 beer-fuelled fans at TPC Scottsdale.
However, those at Tour HQ at Ponte Vedra that take money from the pockets of their members seem to now object to the pair’s carry-ons despite the Tour’s social media team ‘tweeting’ a video of the incident.
“I’m never going to do it ever again,” said Higgs when asked about the incident after his second round at the Genesis Invitational. “I regretted it immediately.” Higgs was also asked if he thinks he will be coping with a penalty saying: “I may be fined. I’ve heard whispers but nothing official yet.
“There was a phone call from the tour and a ‘Hey, you know you’re not supposed to do that.’ I know I’m not supposed to do that. I’m 30 years old, I know I’m not supposed to lift my shirt up on national television in front of thousands of fans.”
Higgs eventually shared 49th place at three-under to earn $20,900 while Dahmen was four shots further back near the tail of the field at one-over to pocket just $18,040.
Six years ago, and during the final round of the 2016 Honda Classic at PGA National, Woodland sent his approach shot at the sixth hole into a greenside bunker located right alongside a water hazard. Woodland had no option but to stand in the water hazard though before playing the shot he removed his shoes and socks, and also his trousers
Seven years earlier, Stenson did not hesitate in stripping down to just his ultra-clean white underwear in playing a second shot from mud at the third hole at Trump Doral during the 2009 WGC – CA Championship. The Swede got the shot away but walked out with his legs covered in mud.
Now what is worst, Higgs and Dahmen celebrating by raising and removing their shirts or the sight of Stenson in ‘nearly all is revealed’ ultra- white underwear, as well as Woodland standing there in shirt and figure-hugging underwear?
If the PGA Tour was serious they would simply slap the wrists of Higgs and Dahmen saying: “Now boys? Don’t do it again and keep your shirts on”. No, the Tour will probably fine the pair of them.
If the Tour was serious in a bigger Phoenix Open picture, they would be sitting down with sponsors Waste Management and the team at TPC Scottsdale and working out ways to eradicate this behaviour of hurling full beer cans and beer bottles onto the 16th hole when a player records an ace.
If the Tour refuses to act, there will be the sight in future Phoenix Open events of a player, caddie, or official with blood gushing over their attire after having had their head split open by a hurling beer bottle. That would seem more important than monetarily docking two players for exposing their Lilly white chests.