US Open Golf 2013: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott Highlight Pairings

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJune 7, 2013

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 18:  and Tiger Woods of the USA (R) and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (L) look on during the second round of The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 18, 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, who are the world's top three ranked golfers in that order, will be paired together in the first two rounds of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, just west of Philadelphia.

The tournament's official Twitter page announced the news Friday of the marquee group, which will tee off on Thursday, June 13 at 1:14 p.m. Eastern Time:

1:14 pm off of Tee No. 1 on Thursday: @tigerwoods, @mcilroyrory, Adam Scott. They will start on Tee No. 11 at 7:44 am Friday. #usopen

— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 7, 2013

This superstar trio competed in last week's Memorial Tournament but with little success. Scott finished best in a tie for 13th, while Woods unexpectedly struggled as defending champion to a tie for 65th. The second-ranked McIlroy didn't fare much better at T57.

It will certainly be interesting to monitor the group dynamic, especially with Woods' longtime caddy, Steve Williams, on the bag for Scott.

McIlroy and Scott have won the past two majors, with McIlroy running away with the 2012 PGA Championship by a record eight shots and Scott beating Angel Cabrera to win The Masters in a playoff.

It's a dream scenario for golf fans and spectators, and a wise move from a marketing standpoint by the tournament organizers. While many would have been following Woods' progress regardless, adding McIlroy and Scott to the mix will only raise the stakes.

It appears that the 24-year-old Northern Irishman is up for the challenge:

ESPN's Justin Ray notes how well Woods has fared when playing alongside McIlroy:

The last major Woods was able to capture was the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, when he beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff that went to 19 holes.

Woods has won four times in eight starts in 2013, though, and prior to his disappointing display in his last start, he looked nearly invincible. The only player not to win in the group this season is McIlroy, who has not quite found his form, particularly on the greens, but still does boast four top-10 finishes thus far.

Jason Sobel of Golf Channel tweeted some other captivating groupings:

Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson will be fun to watch together, since they formed an awesome Ryder Cup duo for the American side in going 3-0 in their match play showdowns, none of which reached the 18th hole.

The latter group Sobel mentions features Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk, who co-led after 54 holes and played in the final pairing of last year's U.S. Open at Olympic Club on Sunday. They wound up being caught by Webb Simpson, whose up-and-down on the 72nd hole ultimately clinched him the victory.

Merion is a shorter course, which is in contrast to the longer modern venues that often play into the hands of long hitters.

Many of these elite stars can crush it with the best of them, but success at this venue is especially about possessing accuracy off the tee and a stellar short game.

Note: Statistics and tournament history are courtesy of