Golfer Rickie Fowler divides opinion with untucked Hawaiian shirt

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Rickie Fowler continues to push golf's dress code boundaries

American star wore untucked Hawaiian shirt at first PGA Tour event of 2018

CNN  — 

The golf clubhouse might be traditionally the realm of collared shirts, sweaters and sensible slacks but one man is doing more than most to modernize the game.

Step forward Rickie Fowler, seen wearing an untucked Hawaiian shirt at this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions on the island of Maui.

The American golfer tied for fourth after the first round, two shots off the leader Marc Leishman, but it was his sartorial selection that caused a stir.

Having previously donned high-top shoes and jogging bottoms at a prestigious tournament in Abu Dhabi, the 29-year-old is coming ever closer to flouting the governing body’s dress code.

The PGA Tour’s Player Policy states “players shall present a neat appearance in both clothing and personal grooming. Clothing worn by players shall be consistent with currently accepted golf fashion.”

Fowler, though, defended his wardrobe, telling NBC the look was “very Maui” and joking his friends and fellow pros Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth couldn’t pull it off.

“I always like pushing the boundaries a little bit, while at the same time obviously still being respectful and honoring the game,” Fowler told the Golf Channel.

“I felt like this would be very fitting to start the week … We’re just having fun.”

For American golfer Paige Spiranac, who vehemently opposed the LPGA’s new dress code policy, the Hawaiian number was a step in the right direction.

“I like it. It’s different,” she posted on her Twitter account. “Let’s just see how long it takes for golf traditionalists to say golf is ended and how outraged they are by the disrespect….of an untucked shirt.”

According to the official Kapalua Golf Resort Twitter page, Fowler’s shirt was the best seller in the merchandise tent all day.

With the days of plus fours and hickory clubs largely behind us, numerous fans contended the world No. 7 is helping bring the game to a younger generation.

But not everyone was so enthused, with some calling his wardrobe choices “unprofessional” and others struggling to equate the outfit with his recent selection as the “Best-Mannered Person” of 2017.

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One thing’s for sure, if Fowler has anything to do with it, the line between the clubhouse and the catwalk will continue to blur.