But in the past, there's been one more pairing out there that's a bit of an open (ha!) secret. In his book "The Majors," John Feinstein termed this pairing the ... well, we can't actually use the word he used, but we'll say "Jerk Pairing." (Unrelated aside: ever been using a needle and you prick your finger? Hurts, doesn't it? Yeah.)
As noted in the book, Feinstein pointed out that Fay had continued this fascinating little tradition for insiders to track:
"(Fay) had not, however, given up on one of Hannigan's more hallowed traditions: the [jerk] pairing. Hannigan swears he did not give the pairing its name, but he admits that each year he would put three players together he didn't like or who were generally disliked in the golf world. Insiders loved guessing the [jerk] pairing each year, although more often than not it wasn't that difficult."
Fay, of course, stepped down as executive director of the USGA at the end of last year, so it's still undetermined as to whether the tradition has continued. (In an email to Yahoo! Sports, Feinstein suggested that it's been out of play for a few years now.) Here is the list of pairings for this year's U.S. Open. We won't hazard any guesses just yet, though the 2 p.m. hour seems like a particularly "jerk"y one. Your thoughts?
- John Feinstein
- Lucas Glover
- Stewart Cink
- Angel Cabrera