This ‘Seinfeld’-themed U.S. Amateur group is real, and it’s spectacular

Hazen Newman assesses a shot with his caddie at the 2022 U.S. Amateur.

USGA/Grant Halverson

Seinfeld is widely regarded as a GOAT sitcom, with a nine-season run that produced hundreds of memorable lines and indelible moments that remain beloved by millions.

Among the show’s legion of fans: the USGA.

Look no further than a trio of golfers who the USGA grouped together in the stroke-play portion of the U.S. Amateur at Ridgewood Country Club, in Paramus, N.J., this week: Mark Costanza, Hazen Newman and Campbell Kremer.

Costanza, Newman and Kremer — sound familiar? For the uninitiated, three of the lead characters in Seinfeld were named George Costanza, Newman (no known last name) and Cosmo Kramer.

“If I only had a dollar for every time in my life that somebody asked me if I was related to George,” Costanza, 33, told NorthJersey.com’s Greg Mattura on Monday. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

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Costanza — Mark, that is — is a New Jersey native. He finished runner-up at last year’s Mid-Amateur Championship, but on Monday, posted the high score in his group, a three-over 74 that left him in a tie for 111th. (The top 64 players after Tuesday’s second round will advance to match play.)

But Newman and Kremer? They shined.

The pair, both of whom are 21, shot three-under 68s to share the top spot on the leaderboard with three others. Medalist honors are very much in reach. “Giddy-up!” as Kramer — not Kremer — might say.

For those wondering: Yes, this notable grouping was intentional.

“We were sitting there the other day, and it just kind of came together,” U.S. Amateur manager Chris Mills told Mattura. “We like to have a little bit of fun every once in a while with our pairings. A lot of our pairings are based on some performance ties, and stuff like that. But occasionally we like to throw a fun one out there.”

Not everyone appreciates the USGA’s attempt at cheek when it comes to clever groupings. In 2014, Shane Lowry objected to a U.S. Open group in which he played alongside two other, um, large-framed players, Kevin Stadler and Brendan de Jonge.

“Someone’s bright idea!! Put the three big guys together!!” Lowry wrote in the Irish Times. “I think it is unfair on the three of us. It is definitely not drawn out of the hat, that’s for sure. And I just hope we don’t get stick from the galleries. What they did is making a mockery of the three of us.”

The Seinfeld grouping hasn’t faced any such controversy. On the contrary, it’s been well received on social media, and the players themselves seem to be enjoying the attention.

“It was fun having cameras out there, especially that the Golf Channel cameras were out,” Kremer told Mattura on Monday. “And it kind of just gets your blood flowing when the cameras come out, and it worked well for me.”

Costanza, Kremer and Newman will tee it up together once more for the second stroke-play round at 12:15 p.m. ET. at nearby Arcola Country Club.

jessica marksbury

Golf.com Photographer

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.