The pairings for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open annually present some fascinating reading (the best from the USGA since the demise of the USGA Journal) and lend themselves to a bit of perverse, or rather, insightful analysis.
So, after a bit of reconnaissance of the groupings, we can present the following declarations.
When the USGA publishes its pairings, players from outside of the U.S. have only their country of origin listed, but U.S. players have the city and state. So why not just United States for U.S. players? Do we really care how many live in Scottsdale?
The player who drew an early tee time on Thursday because he’s up to answer nature’s call anyway, but will probably miss his Friday tee time because it’s right at his nap time:
Allen Doyle (two-time U.S. Senior Open Champion) – 7:22 & 12:52. He’ll be a great one to watch with his home-grown, slap shot swing.
Pairing that will have no English spoken for forty-eight hours:
Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia, Pablo Martin – all from Spain.
Pairing most likely to get trampled by the unruly crowd: Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia, Pablo Martin. They’re playing right in front of Tiger Woods.
Player most likely to get trampled by the unruly crowd: U.S. Amateur Champ Richie Ramsay of Scotland who is paired with Tiger Woods. I hope the USGA puts a live mike on young Ramsay. His reactions to the golf chaos going on around him will be classic.
The absolutely, most interesting pairing: Charles Howell III, Justin Rose, Sean O’Hair. You don’t have to say much about these three young studs except potential, potential, potential, but…