After a seven-hour rain delay, play is about to resume at the Ryder Cup in Wales. However, should things get wet again the United States team will be donning new waterproof rain gear after their custom-made suits they brought with them turned out to be more water absorbent than water repellent.The team had already been mocked during practice rounds for their ’70s-inspired rain slickers that made them look more like a bowling team than an elite golfing force. But as torrential downpours washed out the morning session, team members came to grip with another embarrassing flaw: their waterproof rain suits weren’t actually waterproof. So PGA of America officials finally gave in and ran to the merchandise tent to buy as many $350 ProQuip outfits as they could get their hands on. (The European squad was already warm and snuggly in their own ProQuip togs.)
Not only was this another embarrassing gaffe for the U.S. squad–they’re even getting mocked by their opponents on Twitter–it’s a huge blow to the fortunes of Sun Mountain Sports, the company that supplied the original rain gear. As Darren Rovell reports, their licensing arrangement didn’t even allow the company to put their logos on the official gear, which means no one would have even heard of the Missoula, Montana, sporting goods supplier’s contribution had things gone off as planned. Now every golfer in the world knows for a fact that their rain gear doesn’t cut it out on the course. Meanwhile, the U.S. team parades around like a group of weekend warriors in outfits bearing no American insignias of any kind.
Yes, the gigantic publicity platform that an event like the Ryder Cup provides cuts both ways.
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