6 Beards to Look Out for During Open Sunday
Article by Will Trinkwon
This year's Open has been special for many reasons. For the first time in 68 years, the competition is being held in Northern Ireland, at the beautiful but testing dunelands of Royal Portrush. It’s also the first time the R&A have trialled an important environmental conservation initiative – The Blue Water Project – which saw disposable plastic bottles banned in favour of reusable ones. It’s shaping up to be a great championship. But there’s one more reason this Open has stood out – the sheer number and multiplicity of its beards! From cocker spaniel-ish goatees, to mountain man chin rugs, players in contention at the Open are rocking the whole range of facial moss styles. Here are six of the most notable beards to look out for as you tune in for the Open weekend.
1 – Shane Lowry
Kicking off this list of notable beards is home hope Shane Lowry. Though not the local golfer who most thought would be ror-ing into contention this week (see what I did there?), Lowry has one thing that Rory McIlroy does not: a thick beard. And apparently one with supernatural powers. All the while the wind blew and the rain lashed on Friday, Lowry held firm and streaked home in 67 shots to grab a share of the halfway lead. His 63 on Saturday was truly remarkable - one of the great rounds - extending his advantage at the summit. Did all that facial fuzz help him ward off the hostile elements? Who knows. But man does that thick natural scarf look cool!
2 – Tommy Fleetwood
Like his namesake Old Tom Morris, Tommy Fleetwood has a heck of a beard. And, unlike many beardy pros, he also has incredibly good head hair. Fleetwood has joked that, because of his dad's bare done, he fears one day he may go bald. But there's no signs of a naked bonce going his way any time soon. The precise geography of Fleetwood's face rug is difficult to describe, but probably comes closest to a kind of scruffy goatee but with a bit more fuzz on the sides. Combined with his enviably long locks, he looks a bit like a cocker spaniel. Still, beats being bare-headed like Thomas Bjorn.
3 – J.B. Holmes
J.B. Holmes's beard is not the most elegant of cuts on this list, but it’s a mighty sight to behold nonetheless. Despite growing up on the sunny plains of Campbellsville, Kentucky, Holmes's aesthetic is pure Alaskan mountain man. This is some serious fuzz we're talking about here, only bettered by Shane Lowry's. And also like Lowry, Holmes's beard is serving his scoring well – he is sitting in third place. Maybe it’s clotted fur repels the buffering sea breezes or perhaps it just helps keep him warm.
4 – Lee Westwood
As a native of flinty Nottingham, it’s only right that Lee Westwood should have a beard. Well, designer stubble. Which still counts, however thin. Westwood has sported fuller fuzz in the past but for the Open has opted for a closer trim. At 46 his is one of the more mature beards on this list and the overall impression is of a wearied silverback, shuffling his iron-coloured locks into one more fray. Will Westy finally put his major demons to rest at Royal Portrush? Now unlikely. Will he look damn good whatever he shoots? Most certainly.
5 – Rickie Fowler
When Rickie Fowler burst onto the scene in 2009, he was known for his fresh face and High School Musical looks. No more. Shedding his Disney image, Fowler these days seems to take inspiration from movie villains. The thick stubble moustache he’s been rocking at the Open looks like something which would be modelled by Captain Hook. And his hair! I don’t know compelled Fowler to try shaving his head in a darkroom, but the result is bizarre. Is this a quarter life crisis or just a rogue follicular mistake? One thing we're sure of; it looks bad either way.
6 – Jordan Spieth
Sometimes the best beard of all is no beard at all. While Spieth may privately rue his inability to cultivate the hyper-manly chin fuzz of his rivals, the American wears the clean shaved look well. Blessed with the sharply shaped jaw and classic good looks of an Abercrombie model, the young golfer is a solace to beardless men everywhere. Though I dread to think what those Northern Irish winds will be doing to his exposed skin.
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