Woods, Mickelson, Watson grouped at U.S. Open


Tiger Woods begins a quest for a fourth U.S. Open title next week at The Olympic Club in San Francisco grouped for the first two rounds with Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Bubba Watson. The threesome starts on the ninth tee at 7:33 a.m. local time.

The ninth tee is closer in proximity to the clubhouse than the 10th, traditionally used for split-tee starts.

The top three players in the Official World Golf Ranking are grouped together, as well. Defending U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, world No. 1 Luke Donald and Lee Westwood start from the first tee at 1:29 p.m.

Tee times: Rounds 1 and 2 of the U.S. Open

A pair of feel-good stories from sectional qualifying will play together for the opening two rounds.

University of Oregon head golf coach Casey Martin returns to Olympic, 14 years after competing in his lone major. He will play with Dennis Miller, the 42-year-old director of golf from Youngstown, Ohio, who dramatically advanced in a playoff. Amateur Cameron Wilson rounds out the group, which starts on the first at 12:45 p.m.

The U.S. Golf Association also showcased its humor by grouping Carl (Pettersson), Charl (Schwartzel) and Charles (Howell III) together over the first two days.