NORTON, Mass. – One of the most-talked-about grooming episodes in PGA Tour history came to an end last week with all the ceremony of a missed cut.
Johnson Wagner announced in January when he won the Sony Open that his 1970s-style mustache was “going to be around for a while.” Seven months and too many missed cuts later the ’stache is gone, the victim of a 71-79 start at last week’s Barclays.
“I’d been threatening (to shave) with every missed cut and ever since the Masters I’d been thinking about it,” Wagner said on Thursday at TPC Boston. “I wanted to shave it after the British Open but my dad said, ‘People recognize you because of it.’ But I want to be recognized for good golf, not a mustache.”
Wagner has just one top-10 finish since January and at 28th on the FedEx Cup points list he needs a solid two weeks if he’s going to earn his first trip to the Tour Championship.
He also had some extra motivation to go clean. His wife, Katie, has been trying to talk him into shaving the mustache for months.
“She’s beyond happy,” Wagner laughed. “I think about three weeks ago she finally came to terms that it was going to be here for a while . . . that’s probably more of a reason to shave it because she’s actually liking it.”
Besides, Wagner liked the timing of the move as the Tour inches deeper into the playoffs, which in other sports normally prompts players to grow facial hair, not shave.
“The playoff shave,” he smiled. “Anybody can grow a beard during the playoffs, but you have to have facial hair going into the playoffs to shave.”
GTC follows that logic . . . sort of.