USGA Groups ‘Heavyweight’ Golfers, Causes Controversy At U.S. Open

U.S. Open - Round OneThe USGA has a long tradition of grouping players with similarities, and they just couldn’t resist putting three large men together.

Brendon de Jonge, Shane Lowry and Kevin Stadler have been grouped together to compete in the 2014 U.S. Open, which began Thursday. The three golfers are listed at 230, 225 and 250 pounds, respectively, which has Stadler’s caddie, Shannon Wallis, coining the group “The Heavyweights.”

“When I saw it, I was pretty annoyed,” Lowry said, via GolfChannel.com. “I think it’s very cheeky of the USGA to do what they’ve done. I don’t think it’s fair to the three of us. It’s a mockery, to be honest.”

This isn’t the first time such a thing has happened, though. In fact, it happened to Stadler the last time he competed in the U.S. Open in 2006, when he was grouped with a couple of other not-so-slight comrades, Tim Herron and Carl Pettersson.

“I was kind of expecting it, honestly,” Stadler said of the grouping, “just because they did it last time.”

Jeff Hall, the USGA’s managing director of rules and competitions, said unique groupings are part of U.S. Open tradition.

“There are some themes, you know,” Hall said. “There’s a fair amount of leeway.”

When asked what the specific theme was for the group of De Jonge, Lowry and Stadler, Hall replied: “I’ve got to be careful. We have some fun.”

It appears as though Lowry was the only one offended by the pairing, as De Jonge and Stadler simply brushed it off.

“I was actually pretty amused by it,” De Jonge said with a smile. “I wasn’t offended at all.”

“I don’t care,” Stadler insisted. “It’s not like I don’t pretend that I’m not a fat-ass.”

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