Under Armour’s fledgling golf brand got another big boost at the British Open -- even if their posterboy fell just one shot short of joining the dramatic three-way playoff that capped Monday’s final round.
The Baltimore-based sports apparel and footwear company sent a team to the British Open to support and promote Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old it signed to a 10-year-contract in January after originally securing the Texan in 2013.
One stroke off the lead at 11-under-par, Spieth was trying to capture the single-season Grand Slam by winning the British Open and the PGA Championship in August, a feat no golfer has achieved since the Masters began in 1934. He previously won the Masters and U.S. Open.
Spieth ultimately fell just short in his final round, one shot behind the leaders, and Zach Johnson won The Open in a three-way playoff.
Spieth wasn’t the only golfer prominently wearing Under Armour gear on Sunday. He was joined by Paul Dunne, a 22-year-old from Ireland who played collegiately at Alabama-Birmingham. Dunne, who is just an amateur, wore a gray Under Armour cap and blue Under Armour pullover.
Dunne, who has a slight build and bears a resemblance to actor Topher Grace, was the surprise of the tournament. He shot +6 on Monday, finishing in a tie for 30th.
Dunne had been getting cheers at St. Andrews from fans who may believe he is Spieth, reports the golfnewsnet.com.
Under Armour has about a dozen golfers tied to its brand. Since signing Spieth to wear Under Armour from head to toe, the Baltimore-based apparel company has more than doubled its golf-related earnings.
“It’s just making sure you get the right ones and they all sort of fit together,” Ryan Kuehl, Under Armour’s vice president for sports marketing and sponsorships, said before the British Open began. “You want them to be able to say: ‘Gary Woodland, you’re the guy that hits it really far. And Hunter Mahan, you’re the consistent guy who makes a lot of Ryder Cup and President’s Cup teams and has been with us the longest.’ And Jordan’s been playing the best for the last two years but that doesn’t mean the other guys can’t win one.”
Under Armour has also signed 20-year-old British golfer Matt Fitzpatrick, a top prospect who turned pro last year.
Spieth wears Under Armour caps, shirts, belts, pants and shoes, which he helped develop and test, and which were sold to the public beginning this spring.
Under Armour "will hit the gold mine if Jordan manages to win the Grand Slam,” said Mary O'Connor, a senior vice president at The Marketing Arm in Dallas