ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – The Open Championship is picking things up right where the U.S. Open left off.
No, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth weren't paired together during the final round at Chambers Bay (DJ was in the final group; Spieth in the second-to-last group), but the 2015 edition of the U.S. Open will be remembered just as much for Spieth winning as for DJ's missed 4-footer on the 72nd hole to force a playoff. The R&A apparently doesn't want to wait until the weekend for another Spieth-DJ showdown.
Spieth and Johnson will be joined by Hideki Matsuyama for the first two rounds, out at 4:33 a.m. ET Thursday and 9:34 a.m. Friday.
Another U.S. open-like pairing is that of the 241st-ranked player in the world, Tiger Woods, and the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews victor, Louis Oosthuizen. Woods and Oosthuizen were paired for the first two rounds (alongside Rickie Fowler) at Chambers Bay. Woods (and Fowler) missed the cut, while Oosthuizen bounced back after an opening round of 77 to finish in a tie for second. Rounding out the threesome this week is Jason Day, who was very much in the mix all weekend at the U.S. Open despite battling vertigo-like symptoms. They go off at 4:55 a.m. Thursday and 9:56 a.m. on Friday.
Other notable groups include:
Garcia and Westwood look to remove their names among the list of "greatest players to have never won a major," while 24-year-old Reed looks to bring as much firepower to the Open as he did to the Ryder Cup last year in Scotland.
Mickelson showed us at the Masters that his days of contending at the majors are far from over. Kuchar and Stenson look for their first majors alongside the five-time major winner.
Faldo hasn't made the cut at an Open since 2005, but maybe playing alongside Fowler, winner of last week's Scottish Open, will give Sir Nick some renewed energy.