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#pounditTuesday, August 4, 2020

Kevin Stadler, Shane Lowry upset over ‘heavyweights’ group at US Open


What do Kevin Stadler, Shane Lowry and Brendon de Jonge have in common? For starters, they are all professional golfers who were put in the same grouping for the first two rounds of the US Open. They also weigh well over 200 pounds each. Is that why they are playing together at Pinehurst?

The USGA has a history of pairing golfers together at the US Open based on common traits. For example, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel — all former Masters champions — are playing together. Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell made up a threesome of former US Open winners.

You can probably see where this is going. There’s a good chance that Lowry, Stadler and de Jonge were paired together because they are all fat guys. Stadler’s caddie Shannon Wallis even referred to them as “the heavyweights.” Lowry doesn’t think the joke is funny.

“When I saw it, I was pretty annoyed,” Lowry said, noting that he has lost 18 pounds in the last six months. “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.”

Stadler also seemed somewhat offended, though he cracked a joke about it.

“I think the USGA is a little mean and insensitive, but that’s just the way it goes,” he said. “They’re invoking their 5-year-old sense of humor. … I don’t care. It’s not like I don’t pretend that I’m not a fat-ass.”

De Jonge smiled and said he was “amused” by the grouping. Lowry, on the other hand, said he plans to speak to the USGA about it if he plays well (he doesn’t want it to seem like he’s using it as an excuse if he doesn’t).

“They’ve obviously paired the three of us together for a certain reason,” Lowry added. “I’ve been working hard on my fitness most of the year. I’ve been getting a few digs here and there on social media and it’s just not nice. But I’ve had that most of my life. I don’t really care what people think, other than my close friends and family.”

Whether the players were offended or not, the USGA is probably treading a dangerous line. We know the groupings are all in good fun and most people would just laugh it off like de Jonge, but bullying is just too hot of an issue right now. Don’t be surprised to hear a public denial or apology in the coming days.

H/T For the Win

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