The US Open kicks off Thursday at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. The pairings were released earlier this week, as well as the tee times for the first two rounds. You can see the full list here.
One of the interesting pairings will be Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. McIlroy is the defending US Open champion. He’ll be playing with both Donald and Westwood, who have had their fair share of top 10 finishes in majors. Donald’s best finish at the US Open was a tie for 45th last season.
Westwood has had his fair share of opportunities as he still searches for his first career major. Westwood finished tied for third at the Masters this season. His best finish at a US Open was third in 2008. This pairing will tee off at 1:29 p.m.
Of course, we can’t talk about a major, without mentioning Tiger Woods. Woods will be paired with Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson. Woods will try to win his first major since 2008, which was in fact at the US Open. Watson enters this tournament having won the Masters this year. His best finish at the US Open was a tie for fifth in 2007.
Of course, we can’t forget about Lefty and all his attempts to win a US Open. Since 1999, Mickelson has finished second at the US Open five times. Who can forget his second place finish at Winged Foot in 2006?
The Woods, Mickelson and Watson pairing will start at 7:33 a.m.
The first pairing for the start of the Open Thursday will feature Scott Langley, Steve LeBrun and amateur Beau Hossler. Langley and Hossler have both played in a US Open, but this will be the first one for LeBrun. They tee off at 7:15 a.m.
There is one group filled with three former US Open champions. That group is Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera. Els has two US Open titles as his last one was in 1997. Ogilvy won his in 2006 and Cabrera in 2007.
Another notable US Open winners group is Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell and Sergio Garcia. Furyk and McDowell are both US Open champions, while Garcia continues to search for that elusive first major. Garcia in fact finished tied for seventh at last year’s US Open. His best finish at an Open was a tie for third in 2005. This pairing will tee off at 1:40 p.m.
Andy Zhang of China will also be competing Thursday. He’ll be in a pairing with Hiroyuki Fujita and Mark Wilson. Zhang is noteworthy as he is the youngest competitor in the field. He’s 14! Interesting enough, Wilson is 37 and Fujita is 42. It is quite the age gap between Zhang and his fellow golfers. They’ll tee off at 8:21 a.m.