US Open 2012 Pairings: Top Can't-Miss Trios of Rounds 1 and 2

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2012

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson wait on the seventh hole tee during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 12, 2012 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The 2012 U.S. Open promises to be a tournament to remember, possibly not for the finish, but definitely for the start.

A few of the pairings at the Olympic Club for rounds one and two are, in one word, epic.

This golf course, located in San Francisco, hasn't hosted a major PGA championship since the 1998 U.S. Open. The winner that year, Lee Janzen, was even par.

The course is extremely difficult with long, narrow fairways, deep rough, pesky doglegs and dangerous pin placements.

It's the type of course that could eat up and spit out even the best golfers.

So rather than risk losing potentially elite competition, the tournament has paired together some of the best golfers for rounds one and two.

Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson (Round 1: 10:33 AM ET tee time)

One of the earliest tee times of the day, Tiger, Phil and Bubba offer possibly the most dangerous pairing of all.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 20:  Bubba Watson of the U.S. Team and team mate Tiger Woods celebrate winning the Day Four Singles Matches of the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on November 20, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Woods is coming off a win at Memorial, but he's also one of the golfers best-suited to handle the rigors of this course. While wayward shots off the tee are a distinct possibility, he's easily the best on tour at handling himself in precarious lies.

Bubba, meanwhile, is coming off a huge Masters win and has a ton of pressure on his back (this pairing doesn't help matters). That said, he's beyond excited and even tweeted:

Thinking about WDing from US Open cause I want to watch @TigerWoods & Phil on tv. But I forgot I got the best seat in da house!! #CrazyFan

— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) June 14, 2012

Technically Bubba won't be seated at all, but he'll have a firsthand look at Tiger and Phil as he plays through the first two rounds with the dynamic duo.

As for Phil, he's no stranger to playing alongside Tiger and won't be fazed.

These three will be fun to watch.

Martin Kaymer, Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose (Round 1: 4:25 PM ET tee time)

This trio simply oozes potential.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 12:  Hunter Mahan of the United States looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 12, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Kaymer is the only one with a major under his belt, but all three are capable of making a run. Mahan actually has a few experts tooting his horn this weekend, so it'll be interesting to see what type of start he gets off to.

Look for this group to all play well and they should be fun too watch too.

Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood (Round 1: 4:29 PM ET tee time)

And then there are these guys, the defending champion and the yet-to-wins.

McIlroy would have to defy ridiculous odds to repeat as champion, but we know he's going to give it a run.

Donald and Westwood, as always, continue their pursuit of that elusive first major championship.

For obvious reasons, this a group that will capture the eyes of everyone once Tiger, Bubba and Phil are off the course.


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    McIlroy Tired of the Near-Misses

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