Ryder Cup week is underway and it wouldn’t be right if no one were discussing the fake controversies and supposed slights that dominate the days leading up to actual golf. This year’s subject? Rickie Fowler’s “USA” haircut.
Oliver Brown, a sports writer at The Telegraph, wrote that Fowler’s “GI Joe-style crewcut” is “an exhibition of thuggish jingoism” that could make the biennial event “nasty.”
Brown used Fowler’s haircut to draw conclusions about the fiery intentions of the entire American squad, especially its coach. Brown singled out Team USA captain Tom Watson as “the gentleman golfer, embodying the virtues of grace, humility and understatement,” but pointed to his acceptance of Fowler’s new hairdo as evidence that Watson has changed from that noble persona.
Here's some reaction from social media.
Rickie Fowler's new haircut has me pumped for the Ryder Cup this week ... http://t.co/WEVpBmC9YK— Jesse Smithey (@JMSmithey) September 22, 2014
Rickie Fowler's #rydercup haircut might be the dumbest thing ever— Max Lerner (@Max__Lerner) September 22, 2014
Rickie Fowler is playing no games for the Ryder cup with that hair cut #usa— Tom Fitzgerald (@tfitz_20) September 21, 2014
Golf is too stuffy and has too many stupid "traditions" and rules. I like Rickie Fowler's Ryder Cup haircut.— Matt Sanders (@M_Sand09) September 21, 2014
@jockhoward Two more 6 hour sessions and Fowler's hair might have grown back to cover that inane haircut he is sporting to wind everyone up.— Stephen Killick (@SteveKills) September 23, 2014
To an extent, this is what the Ryder Cup is all about -- or what it has come to be. A minor move by one team -- like Bubba Watson firing the crowd up on the first tee alongside a consenting Ian Poulter, or Rory McIlroy playfully pleading for Tiger Woods to be on the 2010 Ryder Cup team following a season of struggles -- can draw the ire of its opponent (and mainly its fans).
Whether Fowler meant to speak for himself, or to set the tone for the American team, those three letters in his haircut spoke loudly, according to Brown. Now we’ll see how long they echo.