Every golf tournament claims that pairings and tee times are mostly picked at random, with the USGA trying hard the last few years to give us "interesting" pairings for the first two rounds of their biggest championship.
But most have figured out that the process has some influence. This year, for instance, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and Adam Scott were paired, with these three holding the last four Masters wins, and Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama all paired as the "young guns" grouping.
The one pairing that didn't go over so well with one of the players was the one that included Shane Lowry, Brendon de Jonge and Kevin Stadler. All three of these men tip the scales at 16 stone or more, meaning they aren't the slimmest group on the course, and Lowry took notice and called the USGA out in an opinion piece that was posted for The Irish Times:
"Someone’s bright idea! Put the three big guys together!! I think it is unfair on the three of us. It is definitely not drawn out of the hat, that’s for sure. And I just hope we don’t get stick from the galleries.
"What they did is making a mockery of the three of us. I spoke to Graeme McDowell, and he thinks I should say something to the USGA about it. I’ve always had a bit of extra weight. I have worked on my fitness, but people don’t always see that."
I totally agree with Lowry on this, and think it is a bit much to toss three guys of the same stature in a group together for all the world to see. If it was a "cute" move by the USGA, they should be ashamed, but even guys as smart as them should realize what they're doing with this and what could come out of it from fans and galleries, especially later in the day when some fans have a little bit too much to drink.
Hopefully the USGA takes notice and apologizes to all three players, because they deserve it. This was unnecessary and makes the USGA, the governing body of some of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, look really, really childish.
Could you imagine if they pulled this same move next week with the LPGA? Players would be livid.
Shane Bacon, Yahoo!
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