Rory McIlroy has revealed the simple reason why he is not wearing a hat at the Olympics, and it has nothing to do with sponsorship conflicts or his personal sense of style.
Instead, it’s because his head is too small.
When the Holywood star appeared without a hat at the Tokyo Games, it prompted discussion amongst golf fans as he usually wears a Nike hat every time he tees off on the PGA Tour.
With high temperatures in Japan causing difficulties for many athletes, it seemed a strange decision for McIlroy to go hatless.
“My head is so small that I have to get Nike to make me custom hats,” McIlroy told PGATour’s Sean Martin. “So whenever I’m in a team event and the hats aren’t custom, they’re all too big.”
The golfer has custom hats made for him when he plays in solo events but for group events, the standard hats don’t fit, something which could prove difficult as he is trying to concentrate on his sport.
It was something those watching the golfer play couldn’t get behind. “Can’t get used to Rory McIlroy not wearing a lid while playing today. Someone give that man a hat,” one Twitter user said.
One person tweeted McIlroy directly and said: “May I suggest you wear your hat. It just looks strange. Maybe you’ll find your mojo again. Good luck! Pulling for you!”
Another said: “Rory McIlroy is not wearing a hat and it is making me very uncomfortable.”
McIlroy also chose to leave the hat behind while playing in the Ryder Cup. He explained the reason while replying to someone who posed the question to him on Twitter back in 2016. “I’ve a pea head and the hats were way too big for me!” he said.
It has led to questions as to why the apparel company outfitting Team Europe can’t make a custom hat for one of the golf squad’s star players.
His lack of a hat doesn’t seem to have held McIlroy back as both he and Shane Lowry are in the mix for Olympic medals after playing their second rounds at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Both players surged up the leaderboard after McIlroy went into day two six shots off the lead, with Lowry a further shot back - with difficult weather conditions of thunder and lightning in Tokyo which stopped play for two hours.
At that stage, McIlroy sat four under for the day and three shots off leader Carlos Ortiz after 13 holes. Four birdies moved Lowry to three under for the day and tied for 14th with 12 holes played.
When play resumed, their excellent second rounds left them tied for sixth and in a very strong position at the halfway mark.
McIlroy shot an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys on his way to a five-under 66, while Lowry went around in 65, hitting one bogey and seven birdies.
The pair are now on seven-under for the tournament, four shots behind leader Xander Schauffele.