ARDMORE, Pa. — Considering the history of bad pants in golf, Billy Horschel had to go a long way to stand out.
But the Octopus-print pair he donned for Sunday's final round at the U.S. Open did the trick. Somewhere, John Daly, long considered golf's leader in the clubhouse for bad fashion, is rummaging through his closet for a response.
Horschel, a former University of Florida golfer, teed off in eighth place at 3-over, four strokes behind final-round leader Phil Mickelson. While Mickelson went with an all-black ensemble, Horschel tweeted a photo of himself in the navy and white giant squid-patterned slacks, set off by a magenta-toned polo shirt, before heading over to the course.
"Well here they are! The highly anticipated highly controversial....Octopus pants!"
Strange as the pants looked, few people should have been surprised by the unusual fashion statement. Eclectic only begins to describe Horschel; according to his PGA Tour bio, he also devoured the Twilight young-adult vampire novels in the span of two weeks and is "a believer in Bigfoot and UFOs."
But as far as fashion, Horschel is hardly alone. Bad pants are such a staple of the sport that a number of amateur tournaments are organized each year requiring participants to show up in stunningly loud slacks.
At the professional level, Englishman Ian Poulter has long been considered the front-runner in today's game, wearing everything from his native flag to something best described as an old TV test pattern. Rickie Fowler has pushed the boundary in terms of color, but usually wears the same tone from head to toe.
But just like those two, Horschel has no problem making a "look-at-me" statement. Anybody who saw him pumping his fists and hopping around while celebrating his first tour win in New Orleans earlier this year — after rolling in a 20-footer to win — knows that.