After the photo submitted for Pieters’ official Tour headshot was given a digital haircut before being posted on the PGA’s site, Pieters used Instagram to send out a “before and after” comparison with the hashtag, #WhereAreMyCurls. The story went viral and was even highlighted in a “Today” show report, with the PGA then admitting it had been a “bit too heavy-handed” and commending Pieters for having “a great head of hair.”
Thomas Pieters, a 24-year-old, up-and-coming Belgian golfer who played at the University of Illinois and has won twice on the European tour, saw his recognition factor rocket after he sent out an Instagram post showing how the PGA had given his official Tour headshot a digital haircut.
In his post, https://www.instagram.com/p/BBAkkw4CBPl/, Pieters posted his original headshot alongside one that the PGA released after a session in the Photo-barbership had given a significant cropping to his curly hair.
“Guess the PGA Tour doesn’t like my curly hair, so they gave me a photoshop haircut,” Pieters wrote in his post. “The pic on the left is the Official PGA Tour headshot, the one on the right is the original.”
Pieters then added the hashtags #fail and #WhereAreMyCurls
Pieters’ post quickly went viral and even prompted a report on NBC’s “Today” Show (features.aol.com/video/golfer-calls-out-pga-site-drastically-messing-his-hair-photo?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl16%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D-468070245), where follically challenged host Matt Laurer claimed that NBC had also been doing the same thing to his hair for years.
The PGA took the chiding it received from Pieters and others good naturedly; in a statement, Ty Votaw, the Tour’s Chief Marketing Officer, said that altering photos was a standard practice but admitted that in Pieters’ case it had been “a bit too heavy-handed.”
“We regret this sequence of events and meant no disrespect to Thomas,” Votaw added. “We think he has a great head of hair.”