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Why Rory McIlroy doesn't wear hats at team events like the Olympics

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There’s a reason why Rory McIlroy doesn’t wear hats in team competitions – and it has nothing to do with sponsorship conflicts or wanting to even out his tan lines.

McIlroy said instead that it's because of his head size. 

“I have such a small head,” he told reporters Thursday in Japan. “My head is so small that I have to get Nike to make me custom hats, so whenever I’m in a team events and the hats aren’t custom, they’re all too big.”

And so there was McIlroy, hatless, at the Olympics, just as he’s gone without a lid when he plays in the Ryder Cup. (He said as much here, in a Twitter Q&A back in 2016.) He opened the Games with a 2-under 69 and was six shots off the early lead in Tokyo.

Of course, without a hat for sun protection, McIlroy will have to load up on the sunscreen this week – temperatures are expected to be in the 90s.