The most shocking sight Thursday at TPC Sawgrass had nothing to do with the golf course.
As Tommy Fleetwood fired an opening 6-under 66 to share the early Player Championship lead with Tom Hoge before play was suspended for darkness, he did so without his trademark beard. While his long locks are still present, Fleetwood now sports only some scruff on his face.
So, why the grooming decision?
“I was in a really bad mood,” Fleetwood said. “It was like break some golf clubs or shave my beard, then I went for the beard.”
Fleetwood lost full status on the PGA Tour last season and has made just four Tour starts this season, including last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he tied for 20th. Worldwide, Fleetwood has struggled to find consistency with just one top-10 this year, and at No. 49 in the world rankings, he barely snuck into The Players field.
But he did, and he’s making the most of it so far. Maybe it was the beard.