The Heritage plaid jacket isn’t a one-size-fits-all coat.
When golfers descend on the 18th hole of the last day of the RBC Heritage golf tournament, one staffer has the particularly nerve-wracking task of selecting the closest-sized plaid jacket among a rack of a few for the winner to wear.
The sizes of the current men’s backup jackets: 40, 42, 44 and 46, all regular; and 42 and 46 in large, said Heritage Classic Foundation spokeswoman Angela McSwain.
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Some of those coats, however, are for Heritage Classic Foundation board members and Boeing sponsor representatives, so McSwain said there are only three or four extras available for the winner, and the remaining sizes change from year to year.
Sometimes, there is no “right” fit.
Take, for example, golfer Boo Weekley, who chipped his way to his first PGA victory in 2007.
“My jacket was the only one we took out to closing ceremonies and the only one he tried,” said Heritage Classic Foundation president Steve Wilmot.
There was no need for a staffer to scramble for a coat large enough to fit Weekley’s frame.
“Like me, he’s a husky petite,” joked Wilmot, who is 6 feet tall and wears a 44-regular jacket size.
Weekley borrowed Wilmot’s jacket for the closing ceremonies and news conference.
While the pro golfer fielded questions from reporters, Weekley stumbled across something Wilmot had left behind in the jacket pocket: a handful of fortune cookies left over from the Tuesday pro-am draw party.
Wilmot said he wears his plaid jacket only on the Tuesday of the tournament, the same day of the draw party when pro-am amateurs find out which professional they are paired with for play the next day.
Wilmot couldn’t remember if Weekley cracked open the fortune cookies or what joke he told him afterward, noting that the tournaments tend to run together after working 30 of them since 1986.
But he and other Heritage Classic Foundation officials couldn’t recall any other instance when one of the backup jackets didn’t fit a tournament winner.
“We’ll get them through the ceremony, let’s put it that way,” Wilmot said. “No matter the stature — tall, short — we’ll get you a jacket.”
The more common conundrum, he said, is a clash of colors. Winners’ golf attire is often pastels, which don’t match well with a red tartan plaid.
“We prefer (the winner) to wear a solid white or dark shirt,” Wilmot said. “That’s not always the case today.”
Carl Pettersson wore a grass green Polo when he won in 2012. Graeme McDowell wore an orange zip-up vest when he won in 2013. And Brian Gay sported pale yellow pants when he won in 2009.
Weekley — a man with blue-collar roots whose speech is peppered with “ain’ts” and who wore camouflage pants on golf courses earlier in his career until other tournament directors intervened — faced no difficulty with his wardrobe on April 17, 2007.
The red shirt he put on the morning of the final day of the tournament matched the plaid jacket he won that afternoon.