Sometimes the content gods wake up on the right side of the cloud and smile down upon us mere mortals, and today was one of those days when the news broke that Patrick Cantlay was seeking a new cap sponsor.
Having sported the Goldman Sachs logo for the past three years, the contract has run out and the New York Financial Investment conglomerate has opted not to renew their partnership with a corporate spokesman saying: “We constantly evaluate the firm’s partnerships, and at this time, our logo will no longer appear on his hat.”
This, of course, comes in the wake of Cantlay reportedly refusing to wear a hat a Ryder Cup emblazoned hat in Rome because he was not being paid to do so, and the European fans were only too delighted to let Cantlay know their thoughts on the matter. The fact that golfers who are all multi-millionaires actually wear their hearts on their sleeves and play for something other than seven-figure prize funds is one of the reasons that the Ryder Cup has become the most eagerly anticipated event on the biennial golfing calendar. For a player to seek payment to compete in it is tantamount to heresy, and Cantlay, given his stoic demeanour, his snail-like pace of play and the fact that he’s an infuriatingly good player, was already close to a pantomime villain.
Last week, in the wake of Rory McIlroy calling Cantlay a “dick” in his interview with Paul Kimmage, I wrote that Cantlay was as “appetising as a four-day-old salad,” and the comment was met with wide-ranging approval by the Irish Golfer readership, in many ways explaining exactly the regard in which Cantlay is held by the wider public.
Both Cantlay and close friend Xander Schauffele had withdrawn from the Tiger Woods hosted Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas next week – an odd move given that it’s a short hop on a plane for both from their residences in Florida, and that finishing last in the 20-man field still brings with it a guaranteed $100,000. That’s $100,000 more than both were paid to go to Rome.
Speculation that either are LIV bound is merely that; speculation. But it would come as a surprise to nobody if that turned out to be the case. Goldman Sachs may have simply decided that they can do better than have one of golf’s most disliked players sporting their name, or maybe an impending switch to LIV possible equity in one of the LIV teams is playing its part.
Either way, like myself, I’m sure you got a little kick out of finding out that ‘Hatgate,’ as it was dubbed, hasn’t run out of legs yet.
Should Cantlay not find a hat sponsor willing to offer up the kind of dough that he will think suitable – an unlikely scenario given that he is still one of the top-10 players in the world – how funny would it be if he started 2024 hatless?
And it would put any lingering doubts as to whether him going hatless in Rome was an actual protest or merely, as was suggested by team USA, simply because they couldn’t find one to fit and that, besides, he had a wedding coming up and didn’t want a tan line on his forehead.