When Tiger Woods showed up on the first tee not wearing a supposedly snazzy team rain jacket, it was announced in ESPN’s coverage that several American players had been complaining about their rain suits being too heavy and not 100% waterproof. It was so bad that officials from the PGA of America rushed to the merchandise tent to snap up as many new ones as possible.
Leading up to the biennial Ryder Cup matches, many commended Captainess Lisa Pavin on picking out fashionable uniforms. Well, big newsflash — functionality is more important than style. The golf world has literally been a-Twitter over this blunder, and for good reason, since everyone knows rain is practically a given in Wales this time of the year.
According to the AP report, PGA spokesman Julius Mason said team officials were disappointed with how the Sun Mountain rain suits worked and the ones they bought were ProQuip. There are no special team USA markings on the new suits, just the generic 2010 Ryder Cup logo.
Ironically, on Sun Mountain’s Facebook page, there’s a picture of Tiger and Stevie in dry conditions with a caption saying, “Check out this photo from a Ryder Cup practice round. That’s a fine looking USA jacket. Weather will most likely be a factor at this year’s event. May the team with the best outerwear win.”
Captain Pavin said on ESPN, “We were disappointed with the performance of them, and you know, we just fixed it. They were not doing what we wanted them to do.”
Winning ’08 Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger called it a “tragic error.” Meanwhile, European Tour player Oliver Wilson, who is reporting on-site, tweeted, “Just seen some US waterproofs up close, they’re terrible! They feel like they retain moisture, not a good quality for waterproofs!”
Ryder Cup Wonder Boy Rookie Rory McIlroy chimed in with a blatant jab, “Just have to say our waterproofs are performing very well!”
No doubt it’s Captain Pavin’s responsibility (even if he had his wife pick them out) to make sure the team’s equipment is working properly. Another question is, why in the world wasn’t the problem fixed prior to the start of the matches (especially if players/caddies had been complaining about them all week)?
What a humiliating debacle. Hopefully the new suits will keep the Americans drier when play resumes, but right now, we’re looking at a Monday finish, which will be the first in the 83 year history of the Ryder Cup. And if the matches aren’t completed by 6:43 on Monday, the results will stand from that time.
*Update: Apparently the US team bags weren’t waterproof, either. The pockets were leaky and weighing down the bags. Fantastic!
[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]