The Washington Times - June 16, 2011, 08:13AM

How convenient of the Redskins to wrap up their informal minicamp today in time to cede the spotlight to the U.S. Open. We get to turn our attention to a sport we’re confident will play out its entire season. Sigh.

Quarterback Rex Grossman summed up a popular sentiment this week when he said: “If Tiger’s not in it, I’m not watching,” but other Redskins players will keep a close eye on the proceedings over at Congressional.

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Tight end Chris Cooley actually enjoys the intrigue of a Tiger-less Open.

“Over two years ago, if Tiger is not playing then you’re not a real winner,” he said. “But now, I think it’s cool that it’s up for grabs.”

Cooley, who carries an 8 handicap, played the Blue Course as recently as last month. The rough already was grown out as the USGA implemented tournament conditions. From the tips he shot 105.

“If I’d have played it again, I definitely would have broken 100,” he insisted. “I didn’t play that bad.”

Quite a few Redskins either play golf or follow it at least casually. Several of them this week offered their pick to lift the trophy on Sunday.

So who are you rooting for, starting-quarterback contender John Beck?

“Who’s the lefty from BYU? Oh, why am I blanking on his name? He won the Masters, like, back in ’03.”

Mike Weir?

“Mike Weir! Is he out there? If he is, he’s a BYU guy. You gotta root for the BYU guy.”

Sorry, Weir didn’t qualify. Got another choice?

“I grew up right next to Arizona State, so we were all Mickelson fans,” Beck said. “I know everybody in the state of Arizona is always pulling for him, especially that Tempe-Mesa-Phoenix area. Everybody is pretty proud of a guy who graduates from there.”

Defensive end Kedric Golston also is in Phil Mickelson’s camp. That’s kind of by default, though. When I asked if he could name any other golfer besides Phil and Tiger, his eyes kind of glazed over.

“Jimmy Choo?” he asked.

Uh, no, he’s a fashion designer. Mickelson it is, then.

“I don’t have a favorite,” receiver Anthony Armstrong said. “I don’t know any of those guys.”

That’s a little suspect, considering Armstrong was rocking a Nike golf hat backwards when I asked him. He admittedly was all-in on Tiger.

“Let’s say the first name that comes to mind,” Armstrong conceded. “Bubba Watson. Put him in there.”

OK, at least Watson qualified for the tournament. That’s a better choice than Mike Weir.

“For whatever reason, I like Rory McElroy,” Cooley said.

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is on that bandwagon, too.

“I’m going with McElroy,” he said. “I just like his game.”

Linebacker London Fletcher followed with a choice out of nowhere.

“I live on a course [in Charlotte] with Karlsson,” he said. “I think he’s No. 16-ranked. What’s his first name?”

Whoa. Absolutely no idea.

Thank you, Google: Robert Karlsson, from Sweden, ranked 17th.

If Karlsson wins, then, block party in Fletcher’s hood. I’ll bring the Smörgåstårta.