How this harmless prank (and Rickie Fowler) landed these college golfers in trouble

College kids are known for doing stupid things and getting in trouble, and just because Oklahoma State standouts Talor Gooch and Kevin Dougherty would go on to play on the PGA Tour doesn’t mean they are exempt from this.

However, when they pulled a seemingly innocent and victimless prank during their time in Stillwater, Okla., they thought they got away with it until they were indirectly outed by another former Cowboys standout: Rickie Fowler.

Dougherty told the story of the stolen Oklahoma State media backdrop to co-hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on last week’s episode of GOLF Subpar. Dougherty was quick to throw his former teammate under the bus.

“Gooch was the first criminal,” he said. “He was there during summer school, I think just taking some classes because he was living in Oklahoma. And up at our athletic center where all the athletes go and do their work there and on this table, there were these media center backdrops. One had like writing all over it.”

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Dougherty said Gooch must have thought the backdrops — also called “step and repeats” — were to go to waste, so he grabbed one to take back to their house.

“Because we didn’t have curtains for our house,” Dougherty said.

The future pros rigged the material to work as curtains and they became a big hit at the house. That was until perhaps the golf team’s most famous alumnus, Fowler, came back to campus for a visit. One of their teammates had never met Fowler and the two posed for a seemingly innocent picture at the house. The problem? The “curtains” were behind them and the picture was uploaded to Twitter, now X.

“Hard to believe you got caught,” Stoltz quipped.

Both Gooch and Dougherty tried to deny it, but it didn’t end well. Dougherty got suspended for an event while Gooch was suspended for two.

“I was like, ‘No, like, if he’s getting two, I’m doing two.’ So just trying to stick it to them,” Dougherty said. “We got two suspended tournaments and then we had endless amounts of our punishment workout called the gauntlet at Oklahoma State.”

Dougherty didn’t elaborate any further on the “gauntlet” but Knost seemed to know what it meant.

“I heard about this,” Knost said. “Got in trouble asking a player about those one time.”

We’ll just use our imagination.

For more from Dougherty, including what it was like to finally earn his PGA Tour card, check out the full episode below.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at