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Scottie Scheffler's US Open hairdresser defends viral haircut

Scottie Scheffler and US Open hairdresser Anthony “Monti” Montanez earlier this week.

Instagram: @monti_the_barber

PINEHURST, NC — At most U.S. Opens, the cut refers to one thing only: the score players must achieve in the first two rounds to advance to the weekend. But at this 124th Open at Pinehurst No. 2, those two little words were also used to describe something else: Scottie Scheffler's fresh haircut.

If you've been following the US Open or spending any time on social media in the last 24 hours, you may have noticed Scheffler's haircut, especially because the taper around his sideburns and neck creates tan lines that would make Stewart Cink blush. One X-user jokingly called Scheffler's new look a “$10 haircut.” Another cheeky observer, in reference to current events, suggested Scheffler had a “prison fade.” Others, the superstitious sort, wondered why Scheffler would change. anything – including its hood – in the middle of such a heater.

Even Masters champion and CBS lead golf analyst Trevor Immelman couldn't resist joining in on the fun, tweeting, “Scottie loves a fade so much he asked the barber for one.”

This raises the burning question of all serious golf fans this week: What did Scheffler asks?

“He said he wanted a 3 on the sides, so that's what we went with,” Anthony Montanez said Friday afternoon from his makeshift barbershop on the ground floor of Pinehurst's No. 2 clubhouse. Montanez — “Monti” to his friends and clients — is the U.S. Open's in-house barber, a job he's held since the 2018 edition in Shinnecock Hills, about a 20-minute drive west of Monti's shop in Moriches, N.Y. This week alone, Monti and fellow barber Eddie Callinas have already cut the hair of more than 60 players, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. Even Tommy Fleetwood has entrusted Monti with his luscious locks.

But back to L'Affaire (Le Hair?) Scheffler.

“I said, 'Hey, should I trim the sideburns a little bit?'” Monti continued. “He said, 'Yeah,' so we went with it. When you go from long hair, which he probably hadn't cut in a couple of weeks, to short, you see everything, especially when you're in the sun every day.”

Monti said Scheffler left the presidency satisfied. And Monti's assessment of his own work?

“I was very happy with the cut,” he said. “Sharp lines, nice transition -“

“Butter pecan pie, baby!” Callinas interjected, using an expression he and Monti use for a job well done.

“Everything was fine,” Monti continued. “He wanted exactly the haircut. We delivered.”

That's Monti's job. There's a reason he's been called back to all those Opens. His services have also been called upon for the Senior US Open, the Walker Cup and even some LIV Golf events. Players know him and respect his skills. They greet him with a hug and ask him about his family or the state of his golf game.

“I've been here for so long that I feel comfortable with the guys,” said Monti. “They talk to me a lot and make me feel good.”

She including the world's most famous golfer. Monti admitted he felt a twinge of nervousness when Tiger Woods walked into his shop earlier this week – “my heart rate may have gone up a little bit,” he said – but Woods soon put him at ease. Woods' preferred club?

“Simple cut,” Monti said. “Little 3 on the sides, shaved, made it look smart.”

Tiger Woods and US Open Barber Monti in Pinehurst
Monti’s clients this week included Tiger Woods…

@monti_the_barber (both)

Rory McIlroy and US open Barber Monti in Pinehurst
..and Rory McIlroy.

Monti is also armed and ready for more complex cuts. On a table in the corner of his small clubhouse – on Friday, a heated ping-pong match was taking place in the next room – all of his tools are neatly laid out: clippers, trimmers, a razor, a Dyson hairdryer. Monti also has an armada of scissors for a range of specialty tasks: dry cutting, wet cutting, thinning, texturizing. “Rickie and Min Woo Lee, for example,” Monti said, “have thicker hair, so they want to take some of the density and weight out.”

The furor over Scheffler's share was not lost on Monti or Callinas, who said they were “laughing their heads off” Thursday night as they looked through the many jokes on social media. “I've gotten text messages from friends, family, customers and the team back home,” Monti said. “You have to laugh at some of the funny things that have been said. That's all you can do.”

He added: “The funny thing is that everyone calls it 'high and tight', which makes us as hairdressers laugh because it's only a 3 on the sides – it's not a 'high and tight' by any stretch. It's just the tapered back that makes it look like that.”

Does he regret anything? Only one thing, said Monti: that Scheffler no longer has a beard.

Beard styling, Monti said, is his Strength.

Alan Bastian

Golf.com Publisher

As managing editor of GOLF.com, Bastable is responsible for providing the editorial direction and voice of one of the game's most respected and visited news and service sites. He wears many hats – editing, writing, ideating, dreaming of one day breaking 80 – and feels privileged to work with such an incredibly talented and hard-working group of writers, editors and producers. Before taking the reins at GOLF.com, he was features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.