Woods, McIlroy, Scott headline U.S. Open at Merion


When the U.S. Open returns to Merion Golf Club next week after a 32-year absence, it will be highlighted by a superstar grouping in the opening two rounds.

The world’s top three players will be playing together, as former U.S. Open winners Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be joined by Masters champion Adam Scott. They will tee off the first hole at 1:14 p.m. ET Thursday and off No. 11 at 7:44 a.m. Friday.

Woods and McIlroy have competed in the same pairing on a dozen occasions in competitive tournaments, but never before in a major championship.

This will also mark the first time that Woods finds himself in the same group at a major with former caddie Steve Williams, who was on the bag for 13 of his major victories. Since they stopped working together two years ago, Woods and Williams have only been in the same group on two occasions, as Woods twice faced Scott during the 2011 Presidents Cup.

113th U.S. Open groupings for Rounds 1 and 2

The USGA has also grouped the next three players on the Official World Golf Ranking, as Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose and Brandt Snedeker will tee off the 11th hole at 7:22 a.m. Thursday.

Five-time U.S. Open runner-up Phil Mickelson will begin his search for an elusive title at 7:11 a.m. off the 11th tee alongside fellow American competitors Keegan Bradley and Steve Stricker.

Reigning champion Webb Simpson will open his title defense with U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox and former U.S. Open champion Ernie Els at 1:36 p.m. off the first tee.

Other notable groupings include: Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts at 7 a.m. on the 11th hole; Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Tim Clark at 7:33 a.m. on the 11th hole; Sergio Garcia, Stewart Cink and Padraig Harrington at 7:44 a.m. on the 11th hole; Ian Poulter, Jason Dufner and Boo Weekley at 7:55 a.m. on the 11th hole; Rickie Fowler, Matteo Manassero and Jason Day at 8:06 a.m. on the 11th hole; Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer at 12:52 p.m. on the first hole; and Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell and Zach Johnson at 1:03 p.m. on the first hole.

Because of logistical concerns, players will start their “back nine” on the 11th tee rather than the traditional 10th. At last year’s U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, competitors started on the ninth hole due to similar concerns.

The 113th U.S. Open will take place from June 13-16. Merion will play to a par-70 at an official length of 6,996 yards.