Why is Gemma Dryburgh wearing a blank hat at the LPGA Tournament of Champions?  it's time to get paid

Why is Gemma Dryburgh wearing a blank hat at the LPGA Tournament of Champions? it’s time to get paid

ORLANDO, Florida – Gemma Dryburgh broke through in Japan last fall to claim her first LPGA victory and qualify for this week’s Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. However, there’s something noticeably different about her appearance this week: she’s wearing a blank hat.

“I guess it’s a message that it’s open,” Dryburgh said, of the blank billboard in her head.

When the 29-year-old Dryburgh of Scotland earned her LPGA card for the 2018 season, the rookie asked Callaway for some caps. She had played in Callaway clubs since high school, but had not actually been signed to the company. She was wearing her free hat.

“I didn’t mind supporting them,” he explained, “and they support me a lot with the clubs. But I think it’s time I got paid for the hat.”

Dryburgh said his agent is currently in discussions with a possible sponsor. While the value of a player’s hat varies greatly, Dryburgh estimates that he is looking for more than $20,000.

“It’s really nice to be able to have the expenses covered before the season starts,” he said of a luxury he hasn’t experienced in his career thus far, and hasn’t quite gotten to that point yet.

Mel Reid is feeling a little less pressure after finishing third in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. (Gabe Roux/LPGA)

Dryburgh isn’t the first, of course, to be in the market for a hat endorser. Veteran Solheim Cup player Mel Reid wore a blank cap at big events in the summer of 2019. Meg Mallon won the 2004 US Women’s Open in a USGA cap.

Dryburgh won the 2022 Toto Japan Classic last year by four strokes and finished 34th on the CME points list and 45th on the money list with $662,000. That’s more than triple what he had earned in his previous four seasons on tour combined.

The story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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