Leave it to Rickie Fowler to make the pleated-khaki-wearing golf public discuss the pros and cons of a surf-inspired button-up shirt on the golf course, but for the second consecutive year, he has.
The 30-year-old California native celebrated his home state’s official sport with a PUMA-designed performance shirt that featured trees, surfboards and golf clubs as well as an untucked tail.
The shirt, which is part of PUMA’s “Play Loose” collection, brought up questions ranging from its fashion merits to its legality. As it turns out, Fowler sought and received permission from the PGA Tour to wear the untucked shirt, according to GolfChannel.com’s Will Gray.
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) January 25, 2019
Fowler wore a similar-style shirt last year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Maui, and received similar questions. This week at Torrey Pines, Fowler laid out his thinking for testing the boundaries.
“I’ve always told the Tour and people around me, I’m never one that wants to break rules by any means. But I’m up for pushing the limits,” Fowler said, according to Gray. “Anything within reason, within being respectful of the game. And I feel like for the most part, people that go play a local muni, this is perfectly acceptable attire. I’m glad we went out and played well in it.”
To his point, Fowler did play well in it. On Friday, Rickie shot a 6-under par 66 on the North Course, which has been sandwiched by rounds of 73 and 74 on the South.
Responses, both on the broadcast and on social media, were mixed. CBS Sports’ Peter Kostis championed the look and praised Fowler for wearing the outfit, while lead analyst Nick Faldo wasn’t so complimentary.
“It’s not quite right, something’s wrong with it,” Faldo said. “Might be too long.”
Somebody have a word with Rickie Fowler and tell him to tuck his shirt in….That can never be allowed.
— Michael Linforth (@mlinforth) January 25, 2019
Rickie Fowler with the untucked shirt today??
— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) January 4, 2018
From a marketing standpoint, there’s no argument over whether the move is working from a retail perspective. PUMA has already sold out of their “Play Loose” bag, but other offerings, incuding Fowler’s shirt ($75) remain for sale on their website.
— PUMA GOLF (@PUMAGolf) January 26, 2019
The product line includes Fowler’s “Paradise Shirt” as well as an assortment of polos, tees, hoodies, pants, shoes and hats.