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It doesn’t matter, really, how hard brands try to market their long-sleeved, tall-collared, semi-shiny zip-at-the-neck pullovers as activewear, meant for the brisk and rugged outdoor air of a hike or a jog or a long biking excursion. The same thing always happens.

On the webpage for Under Armour’s UA Tech ½ Zip Long Sleeve, which the brand boasts is “our original go-to training gear,” one five-star review remarked as follows: “I bought this to wear to work and it looks sharp.” Another satisfied customer wrote: “Great for taking off the chill in my office when the AC is going full bore.”

Of the Eddie Bauer Men’s Resolution Long-Sleeve ¼-Zip, which boasts moisture-wicking and odor-control technologies as well as UPF 20 sun protection, someone raved: “This long sleeve shirt was a godsend because i can wear it over my professional dress attire for work.” And here’s some feedback left for the Allbirds Men’s Performance Quarter Zip, which promises to “warm up your cold-weather runs with a layer of super-soft merino wool designed to keep you warm and comfy mile after mile”: “Can wear casual or I have worn to meetings.”

In cubicles, in country clubs, even on Wall Street, a quick lap around the floor on a Thursday afternoon can confirm it: The age of the performance quarter-zip as office-appropriate menswear is here. And we’re not talking about the classic thick wool sweater with a zip collar, the kind that’s luxe and traditionally dapper enough to be worn by Tom Wambsgans on “Succession”; we mean its lightweight, synthetic-fiber grandchild. A friendlier — comfy, washable — alternative to the increasingly too-stuffy business suit (rendered all but obsolete in recent years by a generation of sneaker-sporting tech bros), the garment was mostly seen on golf courses just a decade or so ago.

The American office wardrobe has been casualizing for decades, and the pandemic sped up a phenomenon already in progress. But thanks to the new ubiquity of remote and hybrid work, the polyester quarter-zip has established itself as just the latest style to pop out of the driving-range-to-conference-room pipeline.

To witness the quarter-zip’s rise, look no further than the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference — a finance summit held in Idaho each July by private investment firm Allen & Company that has been dubbed “summer camp for billionaires.” Though attendees do participate in outdoor activities at Sun Valley, it’s still a finance conference, an environment where business moguls and tech giants meet and mingle and make first impressions on one another. This year, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Greg Abel, Palantir CEO Alex Karp and Graham Holdings CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy were all spotted sporting one of the few garments that, at present, seems appropriate for both.

Middle managers and entry-level strivers have followed the CEOs’ lead. “Quarter-zip over a collar is the truest form of office drip,” declared New York comedian Nate Stein, who works in finance as a day job. “Office hack: if you show up wearing a peter millar performance quarter-zip, you can leave at 3:30pm and nobody will say anything,” an MBA meme account called Business School Boogaloo recently posted to X (formerly Twitter).

Mark Moran, 32, works in finance in New York City. Even when he was earning his MBA in Virginia a few years ago, quarter-zips were all over campus. “It’s like this aspirational dress code. Because when you think about what a semiretired corporate executive wears, it’s that,” he says. At a previous job in banking, Moran once peeked over a colleague’s shoulder and saw him ordering four identical navy quarter-zips at once. “He only wore quarter-zips.” 

On a Wednesday afternoon earlier this month, Moran took a meeting in Midtown Manhattan with a CEO and a senior banker, who Moran estimated to be in their 40s and 50s, respectively. The CEO’s quarter-zip had his company’s logo on it; the banker’s bore the name of his country club.

Throughout his team’s NBA championship-winning run earlier this year, the historically suit-wearing Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone was photographed in quarter-zips of various colors on the sidelines. In recent years, former Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers made the same adjustment to his game-day look.

At the East Providence, R.I.-based Corporate Gear, the arm of the promotional products company ParsonsKellogg that creates custom-logoed apparel you might get at a team retreat or as a holiday gift, companies’ demand for these kinds of athleisure-style, half- and quarter-zip pullovers has “gone up significantly,” according to McLean Shanley, Corporate Gear’s vice president of sales.

Shanley says that’s because work is now only sometimes synonymous with the office: “The reality is when people aren’t on a call, they may be back into their T-shirt,” Shanley says. “But then maybe they want to step it up, or even show some of their company’s branding when they’re on the call.” At Corporate Gear, the quarter-zip is outselling even the finance- and tech-bro signifier of just a few short years ago: the zip-up vest.

“They’re going to wear it over and over again,” Shanley says of the quarter-zip. Especially if it’s from a household name brand. Which is why some of Corporate Gear’s best sellers are from Nike, Patagonia and, yes, the golf brand Peter Millar. (Marketing copy for the Peter Millar Perth Performance Quarter-Zip: “Four-way stretch, moisture-wicking and easy-care benefits to keep you comfortable far beyond the final green.” A real review: “Great for Spring and Fall and for those cold air conditioned buildings in the Summer!”)

Of course, it’s not the first time a style native to golf has become a staple of the workplace. “Golf has contributed an incredible amount of garments to the history of fashion,” says Deirdre Clemente, a professor of history at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who specializes in fashion. For starters: “You think of the 1920s, you think of those knickers and patterned sweaters and patterned socks — that’s straight out of golf wear.”

In the early 20th century, golf was gaining popularity in the United States at the same time the knitwear industry was rapidly expanding. Thanks to new technologies in both fabric production and garment-making, the clothing industry grew and began offering new styles that, unlike the stiffer, starchier wool and cotton three-piece suits and corset dresses of the day, could accommodate a hobby that required the use of the whole body.

“The women’s silhouette of the 1920s came from golf, that very long and lean silhouette with a lot of motion in the arms,” Clemente says. “The gussets of sleeves, the wider sleeve hole: Those were so you could swing either a tennis racket or a golf club.”

Saddle Oxford shoes — a menswear staple for much of the 20th century — and Madras shorts were also popularized by golf. But the sport’s best-known contribution to office wear, and the quarter-zip’s most obvious progenitor, may be the short-sleeved, short-placketed golf shirt, sometimes known as the polo shirt. Like the quarter-zip, Clemente explains, it gained traction as a business-casual option in the 1980s and 1990s because it was a washable, low-maintenance garment with an obvious comfort advantage over the traditional office attire of the time. And like the quarter-zip, it also looked just similar enough to fussier styles more traditionally seen at the office to pass a one-glance dress-code inspection.

Will the quarter-zip someday be just a weird relic of the pandemic era, now that some business and tech giants are starting to insist that their employees report to the office five days per week? Clemente doesn’t think so. Business attire continues to converge with out-of-office wear, and as the planet gets warmer, Clemente expects moisture-wicking fabrics to be a permanent fixture in the workplace of the future.

That said, some brands have already caught on and adapted to that future: Rhone, a Connecticut-based activewear brand, calls its polyester quarter-zip — a “perfect midlayer for the office or date night” — the Commuter.

Source [The Washington Post]

Tiger Woods has announced the field for the 2023 Hero World Challenge, but a question remains: will he be among the competitors?

Woods is tournament host for the annual event in the Bahamas, but he is not in the announced field. This year’s event will be Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Albany.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler will be there. Two-time defending champ Viktor Hovland is returning as well. The newcomers include 2023 U.S. Open champ Wyndham Clark and 2023 Open Championship winner Brian Harman.

There are 11 U.S. Ryder Cuppers competing, as well as three from the victorious European side in the 20-man field.

There will be one final tournament exemption announced at a later date, but for now, here’s the field for the 2023 Hero World Challenge.

This is the eighth year for the event in the Bahamas, for its eighth year. Golf Channel will have early-round coverage, with NBC picking it up on the weekend.

Golfers who were in the 2022 field who are not returning this year: Sungjae Im, Jon Rahm, Tom Kim, Billy Horschel, Corey Conners, Shane Lowry, Kevin Kisner, and Tommy Fleetwood.

Check out the full field HERE

[Source: Golf Week]

Golf News

The Korn Ferry Tour Championship was the 26th and final event of the 2023 season, and the top 30 players on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List upon conclusion of Sunday’s final round earned their PGA Tour cards for the 2024 season.

The action at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana, was intense as 16 cards had already been finalized heading into the week, leaving just 14 cards still up for grabs.

Paul Barjon won the season-ending event, and that vaulted him into the top 30. He was among the five players who were not in the top 30 when the week started who played their way in. Shad Tuten was dinged with a two-shot penalty Sunday and that cost him a card, dropping from 29th to 32nd. Jorge Fernandez Valdes finished in the 31st spot, a third-round 77 likely the biggest culprit for him.

The top KFT finisher was Ben Kohles, who had two wins this season.

For those who fell short, all is not lost. Players who finished Nos. 31-60 on the KFT points list have earned exemptions to the Final Stage of PGA Tour Q-School, where the top five finishers and ties will earn their 2024 PGA Tour cards.

The final stage is Dec. 14-17 at TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley Course as well as Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The 2024 PGA Tour season starts at The Sentry, Jan. 4-7 at the Plantation Course at Kapalua but that event is reserved for PGA Tour winners and the top 30 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings from last season, so for these KFT grads, their 2024 PGA Tour season will start the next week at the Sony Open of Hawaii.

Here’s the complete list of 30 Korn Ferry Tour golfers who earned their 2024 PGA Tour cards.

Source and List [Golfweek.com]

Xander Schauffele was looked at as a key member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team before play got underway at Marco Simone, where the Americans ultimately endured a 16.5 to 11.5 defeat. But, according to his father Stefan Schauffele, he was almost pulled as a team member as Schauffele butted heads with the PGA of America over its player agreement for the Ryder Cup, according to The Times.

Schauffele, along with his good friend Patrick Cantlay, requested amendments be made to the player agreement, one of which included shutting off access to Netflix in the team locker room. The issue was shot up the pipeline to captain Zach Johnson and the rest of the U.S. team unanimously voted to deny cameras in the team space.

"The PGA of America were not willing to even talk to us about [the amendments]," Stefan Schauffele told The Times. "It was very late in the schedule right before the team came here [to Rome] to practice because they had moved the deadline, and they said, 'If you don't sign it by then, you're off the team', but they never gave us the contact information of their legal counsel.

"Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend [Sept. 2], finally, the head of the PGA of America got wind of this, because it was not him that was blocking it, and put our lawyers in contact with the PGA of America's general counsel, and then it took a few hours to hash it out and it was fine. Then I received a message that Xander was back on the team. That you can quote. That's the extent of this, and I think it's shameful."

The elder Schauffele's claim comes days after a reported fraction among the U.S. team led by Cantlay, who allegedly believed he should be compensated to play in the Ryder Cup. Cantlay denied the allegation countless times over the weekend as he was peppered at every turn regarding his hat-less nature.

"It's totally false," Cantlay said Sunday. "It couldn't be further from the truth. There hasn't been one word of that all week. The U.S. team has been close all week."

The other amendments in question are likely to be financially driven, as the elder Schauffele was far from finished discussing the matter. 

"If the PGA of America is a for-profit organization, they need to have the players share in that profit instead of being so damned intransparent about it with intent," Stefan Schauffele told No Laying Up. "They should reveal the numbers, and then we should go to the table and talk. Alternatively, they can donate all proceeds after opening the books to a charity of our joint choice, and then we will happily play for free. Please print that."

[Source: cbssports.com]

Dame Laura Davies says it was no coincidence that Spain's Carlotta Ciganda ensured Europe retained the Solheim Cup on the Costa del Sol.

Britain's most enduring and successful female golfer also ranks the thrilling climax to the continent's defense of the trophy as one of the most exciting she has ever witnessed.

Ciganda's extraordinary birdies on the 16th and 17th holes at Finca Cortesin to beat Nelly Korda in the penultimate match prompted joyous celebrations among exuberant European fans.

It was another Solheim thriller, spoiled only by the haphazard organization at the Spanish venue and underfunded television coverage. The players and fans deserved better.

Not that Europe's dynamic dozen, led by Norwegian skipper Suzann Pettersen, cared much as they partied long into Sunday night after a 14-14 tie against Stacy Lewis' plucky Americans.

"It was amazing wasn't it," Davies told BBC Sport, after Ciganda prompted those raucous and royal celebrations next to the 17th green.

It had been the intention all along to give the Spaniard the chance of being Europe's hero in the first Solheim Cup to be staged on Spanish soil. "That's why we put her there," Davies said.

"We thought the last two matches would be important. As it turned out, it was matches 10 and 11, really.

"We had the thought of her holing the winning putt. As it was the retaining putt. The fact that Carlotta was there, and the king was by the green, it doesn't get much better."

Ciganda had been pegged back to all square after 15 holes by Korda, who then sent an accurate approach to six feet on the 16th. But then destiny took its dramatic hold.

The 33-year-old from Pamplona knocked her second shot to tap-in range, sending thousands of European fans into raptures. The volume cranked further when she holed the putt that put her back in front.

Moments later, Ciganda nearly knocked the stick out of the hole with her tee shot on the par-three 17th and Korda was beaten, prompting pandemonium. On a day of unrelenting fluctuation, fortune finally rested with the home team.

"For excitement, it probably has to be one of the best ever." Davies, who played in a dozen Solheim Cups including the inaugural match in 1990, said of this compelling contest.

The winner of an astonishing 87 titles says only Pettersen's heroics at Gleneagles four years ago, when the Norwegian sank the winning putt in the final match on the course, could rival the events of last weekend.

"I think Suzann Pettersen's putt on 18 in Scotland was number one, but this is probably number two in Solheim stuff," Davies said.

"Obviously we knew we only needed 14 and so when we got to 14 that's when the celebrations started. At one point, I couldn't find the six points we needed.

"We kept looking at the list and then Caroline Hedwall turned it around [against Ally Ewing] with that amazing finish and that was the extra half a point that we couldn't find and she found it."

Hedwall's astonishing win, having been three down with six to play, vindicated Pettersen's decision to choose the world number 122 as one of her wildcard selections.

"That's why she was one of the captain's picks because she has Solheim experience. It doesn't matter how well you're playing, Solheim Cup is a very, very different experience and she knew at that time she could turn it on.

"And we've seen her do it year after year in the Solheim and she did it again."

The European team room was full of heroes despite stumbles from winning positions by Georgia Hall and Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh. Both Britons secured halves when wins seemed more likely.

Ireland's Leona Maguire landed Europe's first point with an inspirational 4&3 win over debutant Rose Zhang. The dogged Irishwoman has played every session in her two Solheims.

The 28-year-old from County Cavan has lost only twice, one of them in last Friday's opening alternate shot foursomes when Europe were swept 4-0.

Maguire maxes every ounce of her game and seemed powered by the most enduring internal batteries on this extraordinarily undulating course. "Leona doesn't get tired and her caddie Dermot Byrne doesn't get tired," Davies said.

"They just want to put points on the board for us. She's not one of the longest hitters, she doesn't need to be. She is so accurate, has so much heart and proved again that she is one of the best."

And as a sporting spectacle, this Solheim Cup was certainly one of the best we have witnessed. But too many spectators will have returned home having endured a less than satisfactory experience.

There were ridiculous queues for under-stocked food outlets and no potable water for refill bottles. Early in the week many recounted stories of having food, drink and sunscreen confiscated by security on arrival.

There was little shade for respite from the hot weather and while the course offered spectacular holes and views, navigating it on foot was far too difficult. In truth, it was not fit for purpose.

Spectators were frequently caught in bottleneck logjams moving from one hole to the next. The appointed taxi system to ferry fans to and from the course, sitting high in the hills overlooking the Costa del Sol, was a shambles.

There were stories of spectators having to walk miles back to the town of Estepona to return to their accommodation.

Meanwhile, on television, the coverage lacked the sophistication we now associate with the professional game. There were only a couple of holes with tracer technology and no yardages for shots to greens.

Captioning, especially on that frantic final day, was haphazard and inaccurate. When Ciganda settled over that crucial putt, the television screen stated it was to win the Solheim Cup.

That was wrong, it was to ensure Europe would retain the trophy. Get it right. The players did, and both teams deserved a better showcase to the watching world.

We move on now to Rome and the Ryder Cup. Better resourced, the men of Europe and the US will surely enjoy golf's grandest stage and the most lavish of coverage.

Even so, this week has plenty to do to live up to the sporting drama we witnessed in Spain.

SOURCE: [www.bbc.com]

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