Jason Dufner’s hat game has been amazing in 2018. The 2013 PGA champion doesn’t have a hat deal this year, so he’s a free agent and can wear whatever hat he wants. And he does. He’s worn Notorious B.I.G. hats, hats loving on Mexico and Texas, and surfing hats, as well a delightful The Players rope hat.
On Tuesday at the Memorial Tournament in the Columbus area, the Ohio native Dufner walked into his news conference as this week’s defending champion wearing a “Save the Crew” hat. Dufner, who has worn a Cleveland Indians hat at times this year, is showing his support for the Columbus Crew, the popular Major League Soccer team in town. The ownership has sought moving the team from Columbus to Austin, Texas, and Dufner isn’t on board with that change.
“They’re going through a thing with relocation,” Dufner said. “Their owner’s trying to take them to Austin. People here are really passionate about soccer. I wouldn’t say I’m extremely passionate about soccer, but I identify with what they’re going through, being from Cleveland and losing the Browns in the ’90s.”
Dufner is wearing hats with a local theme this week, working with MSF Real Estate Capital, which is paying to sponsor Dufner’s hat choices at Muirfield Village. Dufner initially resisted having a sponsor considering the popularity of his unique hat game this season, but the Ohio theme sold him, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“I got a sponsorship for a hat and decided to come up with some Columbus- and Ohio-themed deals for this week, being the defending champion and being from Ohio,” Dufner said. “Just showing some support with a couple different Columbus- or Ohio-themed hats. The hat thing with me has been pretty popular this week.”
All of Dufner’s hats this week are on sale for $40 each, and a quarter of the proceeds benefit the Jason Dufner Foundation, which helps feed needy children in Lee County, Ala. Another quarter of the proceeds will help the Save the Crew group.