Thirty-six groups will take the tough Lake Course at the Olympic Club today, but in reality the last eight are most likely to produce the winner of the 112th edition of the U.S. Open.
The USGA has done a remarkable job with the pairings. I can point out five that will be especially interesting to keep an eye on.
Matt Kuchar and Martin Kaymer are players who can go low on Sunday with their steady game. The course is tailor-made for someone like Kaymer, who has been steadily improving through the rounds and naturally moves the ball around the course's contours.
Jason Dufner and teenage amateur Beau Hossler, who has definitely become a top story this weekend, will be worth watching.
Webb Simpson and Nicolas Colsaerts will be a total contrast in styles like it was yesterday when Colsaerts paired with Graeme McDowell. Both absolutely have the game to go ahead and get it done today.
Lee Westwood and Fredrik Jacobsen are two solid strikers who will be picking their spots through the course. Both are very capable of shooting low scores.
A major win for Westwood would allow him to achieve what's left on his already extremely successful resume. And for Jacobsen, a win would make him the first Swede male to win a major. No pressure, right?
And, of course, there is the marquee pairing of Jim Furyk and McDowell. This will be like watching a chess match between two masters trying to pick apart each other's game with their surgeon-like shots.
For a complete view of the pairing at usopen.com, you can click here. The last eight groups are displayed below.
All Times PT.
|Group ||Tee Time || ||Pairing ||
|28 ||1:50 || ||C. Wittenberg ||T. Woods ||
|29 ||2:00 || ||M. Kuchar ||M. Kaymer ||
|30 ||2:10 || ||R. Goosen ||J. Peterson ||
|31 ||2:20 || ||J. Dufner ||B. Hossler (a) ||
|32 ||2:30 || ||J. Senden ||K. Chappell ||
|33 ||2:40 || ||W. Simpson ||N. Colsaerts ||
|34 ||2:50 || ||B. Adams ||E. Els ||
|35 ||3:00 || ||L. Westwood ||F. Jacobson ||
|36 ||3:10 || ||J. Furyk ||G. McDowell