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Ryder Cup duties suits ex-Toledoan just fine

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Grant Williams is serving as unofficial tailor to Ryder Cup players, as well as outfitting many of the volunteers.

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The U.S. team may not win the Ryder Cup matches this weekend at Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit. But former Toledoan Grant Williams is determined that, whatever the outcome, they look their best during the event.

Mr. Williams, a former golf pro at Inverness Club in Toledo and at Oakland Hills, is owner of Grant Clothiers LLC, which has shops in Sylvania and Birmingham, Mich.

He is the unofficial tailor for the clothes for the U.S. Ryder Cup team and about a third of the 3,000 workers who ll be working the event. The tournaments starts tomorrow and ends Sunday.

About a year and a half ago, I made a pitch to the people in charge about doing this, said Mr. Williams, who opened his Sylvania shop in 1998 and the Birmingham location in 2001.

With an established relationship with Oakland Hills, he got the job. This week, his shop altered 1,000 pairs of pants for the volunteers working the event, did tailoring for executive committee members at Oakland Hills and then did tailoring for Ryder team members Tiger Woods, Fred Funk, Davis Love III, Chris DiMarco, and Stewart Cink.

Yesterday, Mr. Williams and his partner, head tailor Dino Mitropoulos, were busy altering a gown for Mr. Woods fiancee, model Elin Nordegren, who was attending a social event in Detroit last night.

Mr. Williams, a University of Toledo graduate and former Rockets golf team member, said his duties included tailoring the slacks that the team will use during tournament play and fitting their formal tuxedos and other garments.

The team has nine pairs each of golf slacks, a tuxedo, a blue pinstripe suit, a gray pinstripe suit, and a navy blazer.

Mr. Williams said he initially got involved with fine clothes through his love of golf. He would play golf in warm months, and sold clothing at Neil s Mens Shop on Central Avenue in Toledo during the winter.

In 1992, I used to go through the halls in Inverness and all the players there used to wear nice clothes. It just kind of piqued my interest, he said.

Nice clothes are part of the game.

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