Last week at Merion Golf Club, the USGA put each of the top three players in the world together for the opening rounds of the U.S. Open, as No. 1 Tiger Woods played the first 36 holes alongside world No. 2 Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Adam Scott. Next week, the governing body will follow the same pattern when the U.S. Women's Open heads to Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
A winner of each of the first two majors this year, world No. 1 Inbee Park will tee off Thursday at 7:40 a.m., grouped with world No. 2 and 2012 Player of the Year Stacy Lewis along with world No. 3 Suzann Pettersen. Park is in search of her second U.S. Women's Open title, having hoisted the trophy five years ago at Interlachen, while Lewis and Pettersen will vie for their first career Open title, and second career major, respectively.
Among the other notable early-round groups is the 8:02 a.m. tee time off the first tee Thursday. That group will include defending champion Na Yeon Choi, who dominated a year ago at Blackwolf Run, along with 16-year-old amateur sensation Lydia Ko. The New Zealand teen has been low amateur at each of the last four major championships, including her tie for 39th in this event last year. Rounding out the group is Brittany Lincicome, who has finished inside the top 25 at the U.S. Women's Open three of the last four years.
Still looking to get her 2013 season on track, former world No. 1 Yani Tseng will tee off at 1:58 p.m. Thursday along with 2010 champion Paula Creamer and I.K. Kim, who finished inside the top 10 in this event four straight years from 2008-2011, including T-3 results in both 2008 and 2009. Another notable group includes a trio of major champions, as 2011 Open winner So Yeon Ryu will tee off at 1:47 p.m. alongside 2007 champ Cristie Kerr and Shanshan Feng, who tied for fourth a year ago at Blackwolf Run.