NEWPORT, Wales (AP) — The U.S. rain gear at the Ryder Cup is no longer a fashion faux pas.
They don’t even work.
In another embarrassing moment, a U.S. team drenched at Celtic Manor had to buy new rain suits from the merchandise tent during the delay Friday because the ones they brought with them didn’t keep them dry.
“We were disappointed with the performance of them and we just fixed it,” captain Corey Pavin. “They were not doing what we wanted them to do, so we went out and bought some more waterproofs.”
Sun Mountain supplied the American team with the rain gear – navy blue, with stripes around the arms and left leg, with last names stitched on the back above “USA.” They looked like they belonged to a college basketball team.
The PGA of America bought as many ProQuip rain suits as they could from the merchandise tent. Spokesman Julius Mason said there was enough to fit only the players and caddies – tan suits for the players, red for the caddies. He said they had Ryder Cup logos, but there was nothing to distinguish this as an American uniform.
Tiger Woods had no such issue – he didn’t bother wearing his.
Woods had a rain jacket on in the light rain during practice Wednesday, but his was the only one without his name stitched on the back. Mason said Woods’ jacket was too big, and he had to find a generic jacket that was smaller.
The Americans soon became the butt of jokes during a rain delay so long that it was unlikely the matches would finish Sunday. Their own version of “Watergate” came one day after Pavin forgot Stewart Cink during player introductions at the opening ceremony.
And now this.
Rain in Wales the first weekend in October? Who could have guessed that?
“Just seen some US waterproofs up close, they’re terrible! They feel like they retain moisture, not a good quality for waterproofs!” Oliver Wilson, who player in the last Ryder Cup for Europe, said on Twitter.
Rory McIlroy, who already riled Tiger Woods by saying the entire European team wanted to play him, chipped in with his own tweet to needle the Americans: “Just have to say our waterproofs are performing very well!”
ProQuip already supplied the European team with its rain gear.
Richard Head, the managing director for ProQuip Ltd. in Edinburgh, Scotland, said his company has been supplying the European team since 1983, and the American team occasionally, most recently 2004.
He said the suits cost about $350.
His small corner of the merchandise tent had little left to offer – a few pair of pants, a few dozen jackets, sweaters and wind shirts.
“They requested 20 suits, but I’m not sure who they were for – whether it was players or simply caddies and team officials,” Head said of the American team.
Cink emerged from the team room for a Sky TV interview wearing a tan rain suit with short sleeves.
When he was appointed captain nearly two years ago, Pavin said his wife, Lisa, would be helping him pick out the team uniforms.
“Lisa has an unlimited budget with clothing at home, so I just want to give you guys a fair warning right now about the clothing,” Pavin said that day.