124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Smylie Kaufman stamps conspiracy-theory meme on wedge

August 29, 2016

Give Smylie Kaufman credit: For a PGA Tour rookie, the man knows how to work a crowd. From dazzling the Masters media room to becoming the star of the infamous SB2K16 trip to signing an endorsement with Natural Light, Kaufman has been the Internet's favorite golfer. And what better way for Kaufman augment that status than stamp a popular conspiracy-theory meme on one of his wedges.


For those unaware, Harambe is the name of the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla that was tragically put down after a child fell into a lowland enclosure. The event grabbed worldwide attention, transforming Harambe into an icon -- Public Policy Polling had the dead gorilla garnering five percent of the 2016 presidential election vote in late July. Additionally, some on Twitter have sardonically suggested Harambe's passing was an "inside job," a phenomenon the Washington Post describes as "the more intense and more sincere-seeming the expression of mourning is, the funnier the joke."

Is Kaufman really a gorilla truther? Probably not. Rather, the dude recognized another opportunity to win favor with social media. And like previous endeavors, it's a test he aced with flying colors.