Justin Thomas Among Pros Backing Sam Ryder's Decision To Wear Joggers

Thomas doesn’t see anything wrong in Ryder’s decision to wear joggers and ankle socks at the Farmers Insurance Open

Justin Thomas takes a shot at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Ryder created headlines for more than one reason during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

At one point, it looked like the American was heading for his maiden PGA Tour win. That didn’t quite happen, and he eventually had to settle for a tie for fourth as Max Homa secured the victory. Ryder also caused a stir with his choice of legwear though - a pair of joggers paired with ankle socks.

Sam Ryder at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That look prompted the opinion of LIV Golf player Phil Mickelson, who took to Twitter to question the PGA Tour’s shorts policy in light of LIV’s decision to allow its players to wear them in its tournaments last year. Lefty wrote: "The Tour doesn’t allow shorts but does allow this week's leader to wear joggers with ankle socks? Showing 4 inches of ankle? I’m no fashion guy, never will be, but there are some things I won’t ever understand."

Now, PGA Tour pros Justin Thomas and Graham DeLaet have weighed in on the debate. Responding to a tweet from Pro Golf Stuff asking for thoughts on joggers in golf, DeLaet wrote: “Who cares what a bunch of overweight 15 handicaps eating chips on their couches think. The kids love it. Grow the game. It’s 2023.”

That's a sentiment two-time Major winner Justin Thomas agreed with. After The Caddie Network also asked for people’s opinions about joggers on the golf course, Thomas responded: “Same as a certain sweater or shirt, some like it some don’t. No right or wrong imo. As @GrahamDeLaet said if the kids like it, let’s love it! Grow the game.”

Following the emergence of LIV and the perception that it has a less stuffy approach to the game than the PGA Tour, there is little doubt that the game is adapting to allow for more casual attire on the course. Indeed, Thomas is one of the players who has taken advantage of the more relaxed approach and wore joggers with a hoodie at the 150th Open at the Home of Golf, St Andrews, last year.

As for Ryder, it’s not the first time he’s sported a similar look in a tournament. In 2018, he went sockless at the Shriners Open while wearing a pair of ‘drainpipe’ trousers.

While many traditionalists will no doubt frown upon the sartorial decisions being made by some players in tournaments, much like many other aspects of the game, it appears to be an area that is rapidly evolving as golf goes in search of the next generation of players and fans.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.