Tuesday, June 14

2011 U.S. Open: Play the Groupings Name Game

Editor’s note: I’m springing out of my armchair to spend the week at the 2011 U.S. Open. Beginning on Wednesday I’ll be at Congressional Country Club covering the year’s second major. Share your U.S. Open thoughts: Comment below or email me at armchairgolfer@gmail.com.

I’VE BEEN STUDYING THE Thursday and Friday groupings and can’t help thinking one of these guys is going to win this thing. Seriously, though, I like the way the USGA puts together the 52 groupings. A lot of thought goes into them, whether it’s a marquee grouping or the lesser-known players.

Following are some of the groupings that stood out. Some I’ve named. Some, well, I need help, if you’re willing. (Also feel free to rename the ones I’ve named. I’m not saying they’re good names.)

Lawrence Welk (a one, and a two, and a three …)
Luke Donald, England; Lee Westwood, England; Martin Kaymer, Germany

Men of a Certain Age
Ernie Els, South Africa; Davis Love III, Sea Island, Ga.; Jim Furyk, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

How Swede It Is
Henrik Stenson, Sweden; Johan Edfors, Sweden; Fredrik Jacobson, Sweden

Three Amigos
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Spain; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Alvaro Quiros, Spain

Matteo Manassero, Italy; Francesco Molinari, Italy; Edoardo Molinari, Italy

Campbell’s Funky Soup
Fred Funk, Ponte Vedra, Fla.; A-David Chung, Fayetteville, N.C.; Michael Campbell, New Zealand

Southern Comfort
Jonathan Byrd, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Bill Haas, Greenville, S.C.; Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C.

Men of a Certain Age (Part 2)
Steve Stricker, Madison, Wis.; Retief Goosen, South Africa; David Toms, Shreveport, La.

Masters Class
Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Trevor Immelman, South Africa; Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Your turn: I left the really hard ones for you.

Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif.; Ian Poulter, England; Hunter Mahan, Colleyville, Texas
Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland; Dustin Johnson, Jupiter, Fla.; Phil Mickelson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Padraig Harrington, Ireland; Angel Cabrera, Argentina; Stewart Cink, Duluth, Ga.
Matt Kuchar, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Paul Casey, England; K.J. Choi, Korea
Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland; A-Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla.; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa
Ryo Ishikawa, Japan; Anthony Kim, Los Angeles, Calif.; Y.E. Yang, Korea

Bodog has Lee Westwood as the favorite at 11/1. World No. 1 Luke Donald is listed at 12/1. Phil Mickelson is 14/1 and Rory McIlroy is 16/1.

−The Armchair Golfer


Brian Kuehn said...

Yes, you did take all the easy ones! I feel like the guy who always hits into divot holes.

"Bad Hair Day" - Fowler, Poulter, Mahan

"Spelling Bee" - Graeme McDowell, Peter Uihlein, Louis Oosthuizen

This is not really fair but if I wanted to be cruel, it could something like "Gag Reflex" - McIlroy, Johnson, Phil Mickelson

Couldn't they have gotten someone from China, Taiwan, etc... instead of Anthony Kim? Then it could be "Asian Tigers" - Ryo Ishikawa, Y.E. Yang, Korea

"The Formers" - Padraig Harrington, Angel Cabrera, Stewart Cink

"The Futures" - Matt Kuchar, Paul Casey, K.J. Choi

The Armchair Golfer said...

Well done. And maybe "Asian Tigers" is close enough. AK is Korean-American, right?

Brian Kuehn said...

I live in Ann Arbor, MI, so political correctness has been rammed down my throat for 25+ years. I guess I have been converted. It does not seem right to classify Anthony Kim as "Asian" any more than it would be to call me "European" because my relatives came from Switzerland. Anthony is an "American" just like me.

Still, I like "Asian Tigers". ;)