Patrick Cantlay Responds To 'HatGate' At Ryder Cup

Patrick Cantlay has responded to a report he's not wearing a hat at the Ryder Cup to demonstrate frustration at the lack of pay for US players

Patrick Cantlay after winning his Saturday afternoon fourball match in the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone
Patrick Cantlay has explained why he's not wearing a hat during the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Patrick Cantlay has responded to a report that he is leading a split in a ‘fractured’ US Ryder Cup team, which supposedly includes refusing to wear a hat "demonstrating his frustration" that the team is not being paid for its appearance at Marco Simone.

However, according to the man himself, the reason he has been hat-free in the match has a far more innocent explanation.

Cantlay was imperious in the final three holes of his and Wyndham Clark’s Saturday afternoon fourball session against Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick, producing a hattrick of birdies to claim a full point for the US cause.

That was enough to hand Zach Johnson's Team USA a 3-1 victory in the session and offer a glimmer of hope that it can claw back a seemingly forlorn position and retain the trophy in the Sunday singles. Meanwhile, it even led to onlooking members of the US team jokingly raising their hats to Cantlay in response to the controversy.

Members of the US Ryder Cup team raise their caps to Patrick Cantlay after his winning putt in the Saturday afternoon fourball at Marco Simone

Members of the US Ryder Cup team responded to the controversy by joking raising their hats to Cantlay

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After Cantlay’s heroics, in a TV interview, he was asked why he’s not wearing a hat at the match, and he responded: “It just doesn’t fit. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t wear it at Whistling Straits because the hat just doesn’t fit so that’s really all it is.”

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Sky Sports had stated that, as well as not wearing a hat, Cantlay and his close friend Xander Schauffele have been sitting in a separate area of the US locker room with unhappiness at Netflix filming in the US team room for the upcoming Full Swing season 2.

The pair also weren’t on the US scouting trip to Marco Simone earlier in the month due to it clashing with Cantlay's bachelor party, while Weir also stated that Cantlay had refused to attend the gala dinner earlier in the week.

However, those claims were dismissed as “unfounded” by Barstool Sports’ Dan Rapaport.

It was later reported that Cantlay's agent told him the reason he wasn't wearing a hat was because he couldn't find a fit he was comfortable with, which tallies with Cantlay's explanation. Cantlay also later dismissed the report as "complete lies" and "totally unfounded."

In a press conference after Saturday's play, Cantlay's teammate Brian Harman also dismissed suggestions of a fracture, saying: "Y'all just don't quit, do ya. We love each other, man. It's been the most fun getting to hang out with these boys. Whatever happens tomorrow, I mean, love you boys." That drew the response from Cantlay of "Love you too, Harm."

Later, captain Zach Johnson also dispelled the notion there was a rift in the team, saying: "There is not a rift in this team room. This is one of the most united teams I have ever been associated with."

Hat or no hat, Team USA are still fighting for the Ryder Cup, and that's largely thanks to Cantlay's heroics. Given the way he finished his Saturday fourball match, he will be one of the players with plenty of US hopes on his shoulders as Johnson's men look to narrow the gap further in the all-important Sunday singles.

Mike Hall

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.