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The Ryder Cup can be a competition of style, or no style, depending on your perspective. Like all elusive things, style doesn’t emanate from money or resources, it’s about staring into the mirror each morning and deciding how you intend to start the day. It’s about having the agency to influence your appearance at its most basic level.
£100,000 counts for nothing if a slug emerges on your upper lip, or you allow a slurry of broth to drip down your face. The Europeans will be wearing £3,000 leather shoes, but what would be the point if they don’t own shoe polish? Why focus on appearance if you undervalue the importance of a morning shave? Sometimes less is more.
The Ryder Cup has seen all manner of follicular flops and facial triumphs. Here are the best and worst.
10. Tiger Woods (Ignored)
9. Miguel Angel Jimenez (Listened)
Ginger, sparse, asymmetrical, these are hardly the ingredients for successful facial hair. The Rioja-loving Spaniard is a prime example of a man whose personality dictates his shaving routine; easy-going, relaxed and content with life.
8. Victor Dubuisson (Ignored)
Not looking too bad. You may have earned Europe an incredible 2.5 points in 2014 and for that Europe will never forget. Certainly an impressive feat of well kept facial hair. Stop showing off, Victor.
7. Dustin Johnson (Listened…surprisingly)
The 2010 Ryder Cup was no laughing matter for DJ – he got pumped. The Americans looked clueless all week, a reality that wasn’t helped by some of the worst clothing to ever grace the competition. DJ’s little goatee should break every contemporary shaving rule, but it doesn’t. The tobacco chewing Carolinian borrowed some of his southern heritage when he washed the soap from his face six years ago.
6. Rickie Fowler (Ignored)
This was never going to end well. Although it’s strictly not facial hair, this bold decision – excuse the pun – possessed the type of predictable conformity that can erode a man’s individuality. Sadly the USA lost.
5. Darren Clarke (Listened)
The European Captain always looks like he’s come straight from a long night on the Guinness. That being said, he always has time for a shower, a mouth gargle, and a sculptured approach to his facial hair. Using the precision that has defined his Ryder Cup preparation, the Northern Irishman always moves on from the evening.
4. Corey Pavin (Ignored)
When you own a “second-hand car salesman” smile you need to question the sense of owning a first-hand stash. 2010 saw the captaincy fall to Pavin and he took responsibility like any captain should.
3. Calvin Peete (Listened)
Calvin is possibly the smoothest operator to ever compete in a Ryder Cup. His personalised chops represented America in two Ryder Cups (1983 and 1985), not to mention his status as the first black golfer to win multiple PGA TOUR titles.
2. Craig Stadler and Sam Torrance (Ignored)
It’s hard to imagine either of these faces without some neatly maintained upper-lip hair. There’s little doubt that they’re moustache men. I guess it’s an opinion thing.
1. Arnold Palmer and Seve Ballesteros
As one of our audience commented, no player has ever matched the aura that these two men possessed. They were enigmatic and open, disciplined yet charismatic, and they never lost that fresh-faced boyish cheek. To own a style that nobody can emulate is truly rare.
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