Neal Shipley, with perhaps the greatest clubhead cover at the 2024 U.S. Open, shoots even par in first round

There are clubhead covers and then there’s this thing that Neal Shipley has at the 2024 U.S. Open.

While we’re not sure if it’s a part of an NIL deal for the 2023 U.S. Amateur runner-up or just a funny thing to have, it is perhaps the coolest piece of golf gear at Pinehurst No. 2 this week: an Arby’s curly fries clubhead cover.

Shipley was the low Amateur at Augusta National and got to play Sunday’s final round there with Tiger Woods.

He was later asked about what he learned about himself that week.

“Just knowing that my game can compete out here and I don’t need to do anything special to make cuts,” Shipley said. “When I was just kind of doing my thing and not doing anything special, that was good enough to make the cut and compete out here and beat a lot of players.”

His first-round, even-par 70 to start his week confirmed his game does compete, even on challenging layouts.

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“I think my game really comes out when the golf course is really difficult,” he said Thursday. “I can separate myself from the field because I drive the golf ball so well. When you’re playing some golf courses in college golf, it’s like a wedge contest or putting contest. When you come out to majors, it’s not like that at all. Feel like my game is really suited for these tough, tough conditions.”

Shipley did have a double bogey on the 18th hole and two other bogeys on his card but he also had four birdies. He’s one of 16 amateurs in the field this week, but indicated he’ll likely make his pro debut in Canada next week on the PGA Tour Americas.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek