The Ryder Cup crowd wasn’t happy with Patrick Cantlay on Saturday.
A number of people in attendance on Day Two of the tournament mocked Cantlay for not wearing the U.S. team’s customary hat.
The group of fans waved their hats toward Cantlay as he stood hatless on the green at Hole 10 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome.
Cantlay was also heckled by the crowd before his first tee shot of the day, with fans chanting: “Cantlay, where’s your cap? Cantlay, Cantlay where’s your cap?” according to a report from the Daily Mail.
Cantlay reportedly chose not to don a cap in protest of golfers going unpaid to participate in the tournament.
“Understand from several sources that the US team room is fractured, a split led predominantly by Patrick Cantlay,” Sky Sports golf reporter Jamie Weir wrote in a tweet. “Cantlay believes players should be paid to participate in the Ryder Cup, and is demonstrating his frustration at not being paid by refusing to wear a team cap.”
It’s not the first time Cantlay didn’t wear a hat at the Ryder Cup — the 31-year-old also had the same look two years ago at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
But, on Saturday, Cantlay gave his side of the story on why he’s not wearing the headgear.
“It just doesn’t fit. It’s as simple as that,” he said after securing a key point for the US in the afternoon fourball session “I didn’t wear it at Whistling Straits cause the hat just doesn’t fit. That’s just really all it is.
“I was smiling all day. I had a standing ovation walking onto every tee and every green. I told Wyndham [Clark] walking to the first tee to use it as fuel and we did all day.”
NBC analyst Paul Azinger also spoke out against the report.
“That’s just hearsay, it’s a garbage story,” Azinger said per Awful Announcing. “It’s just clickbait in my opinion. And I don’t believe it. Zach told everybody yesterday that this American team wasn’t feeling well. What are they supposed to be all huggy kissy? They’re saying they are separated in the locker room and there’s this big fracture and I just don’t believe it.”
“People love to tear people down in social media,” Azinger added. “It’s a sewer sometimes and I hope I’m right, I just think that’s a garbage story.”
Cantlay’s hatless outing comes amid a disastrous showing for the U.S. team at the Ryder Cup.
Europe is running away with the tournament thus far, winning Day One 6 ½ to 1 ½, and then starting Saturday 3-1 to take a 9 ½ to 2 ½ lead.
The U.S. did close the gap slightly to 10 ½ to 5 ½ by winning the afternoon fourball session 3-1, thanks to three straight birdies from Cantlay in the final group.
Europe’s Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg embarrassed Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler of the U.S., 9&7 in the morning session, prompting the latter to become emotional in the biggest Ryder Cup defeat in the tournament’s 44-year history.