Patrick Cantlay is looking for … a hat sponsor

Patrick Cantlay mocks crowd during Ryder Cup celebration in Marco Simone, Italy.

Patrick Cantlay is in the market for a new hat sponsor.

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Say what you will about the good folks at Goldman Sachs, but at least they have a sense of humor.

On Tuesday morning, the New York Times reported that Goldman will not be renewing its hat sponsorship agreement with Patrick Cantlay after a four-year partnership. According to the Times, the bank has pivoted away from its consumer-focused online banking service “Marcus” in recent months, making Cantlay’s hat sponsorship with the bank no longer a primary focus.

And why, exactly, is Patrick Cantlay’s now-defunct partnership with Goldman Sachs newsworthy information? Well, because it leaves him without a hat sponsor.

Yes, folks, you’re reading that correctly: golf’s most-famed (and perhaps infamous) hatless competitor is now in the market for a hat sponsor.

Golf fans will recall that Cantlay’s headwear choices found themselves in the center of the sports world in September, when the 31-year-old’s decision to go hat-free at the Ryder Cup sparked the biggest controversy of the tournament week. After a report from Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir implied that Cantlay’s hat decision was, in fact, a protest against player pay in the Cup, thousands of jeering fans spent hours waving their hats in his direction in mock support. Later, a prolonged hat-waving celebration from Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, ignited a feud with European competitor Rory McIlroy.

Cantlay said at the time that he didn’t wear the hat because it didn’t fit, but later reporting from Michael Bamberger quoted Cantlay as saying, “I’ll wear the hat when I’m paid to be here like [PGA of America employee Julius Mason] is.” (Of course, the truth may lie somewhere between Cantlay’s bad-fit description to the press and his offhand comment to Golf Channel’s Steve Sands.)

At the time of the incident, many golf fans noted dryly that the true bummer of Cantlay’s situation was that his hat sponsors at Goldman wouldn’t be able to profit off the increased airtime. For what it’s worth, the Times report doesn’t mention anything about Cantlay’s performance in the split, pointing instead to Goldman’s recent direction. The company has laid off more than 4,000 employees in 2023, and its stock is off by more than 11 percent from last year. Cantlay, meanwhile, has ascended into mainstay status in the World Top 10 and is fresh off arguably the best performance of his playing career at the Ryder Cup.

The good news? While the relationship won’t be public-facing anymore, Cantlay could continue his relationship with the brand as a speaker or celebrity endorser at company events. The better news? The hat change should be lucrative for Cantlay, whose forehead is now unquestionably some of the golf world’s most eligible real estate. That is, assuming he wants to wear one at all.

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James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.

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