(NEXSTAR) – Rory McIlroy has a head for golf, but not for hats.
The professional golfer is currently representing Ireland in Men’s Olympic Golf alongside Team Ireland’s Shane Lowry. But unlike Lowry — or the other elite golfers at the Tokyo Summer Games — McIlroy has ditched one of the more noticeable elements of his team’s uniform: his hat.
Speaking with PGA Tour editor Sean Martin, McIlroy reportedly revealed the reason he’s been playing without a cap at the 2020 Games.
“My head is so small that I have to get Nike to make me custom hats, so whenever I’m in a team event and the hats aren’t custom, they’re all too big,” he said.
In the days since appearing on the links at Kasumigaseki Country Club with his naked head, Twitter users have been having a field day with “hatless Rory.”
Many fans, meanwhile, had nothing but praise for Rory’s new look. “Hatless Rory McIlroy is so much more likeable than Hat On Rory McIlroy,” one Twitter user joked. A poll posted by the Fore Play podcast also found that around 39% of respondents were in favor of “hatless Rory,” while roughly 19% disapproved. The rest — nearly 41% — said it was “just weird to see.”
McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, had voluntarily opted out of appearing in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro partially because of the Zika virus but also due to concerns over having to choose between representing Ireland or Great Britain.
“The participation in the Olympics, for me, it’s just a little more complicated than for some other people, (because of) where I’m from and the whole politics of the thing,” McIlroy said, per the AFP. He later admitted that missing the Rio Olympics was the wrong decision and a disservice to the game of golf, telling the Irish Times in 2019 that he would consider it a “cool thing” to attend in 2020.