U.S. Open Pairings: Interesting Groupings for the First Two Rounds

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIJune 15, 2010

TURNBERRY, SCOTLAND - JULY 16:  Tiger Woods of USA looks on as Lee Westwood of England prepares to tee off on the 5th hole during round one of the 138th Open Championship on the Ailsa Course, Turnberry Golf Club on July 16, 2009 in Turnberry, Scotland.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Some interesting groupings have been set for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at Pebble Beach.

No. 1 ranked Tiger Woods, will be grouped with third ranked Lee Westwood, who is fresh off his win last weekend, and with seventh ranked Ernie Els, who has had two wins this year in a bit of resurgence for the South African.

Another grouping features No. 2 ranked Phil Mickelson with 14th ranked Padraig Harrington, along with 20th ranked Y.E. Yang.

Some other interesting groupings feature an all-Aussie group with Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, and Robert Allenby, and a past-winner's group with Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, and Angel Cabrera.

Then there are the back-to-back groups, which feature one Japanese, one Italian, and one Dane each.

First Group: Toru Taniguchi, Edoardo Molinari, and Soren Hansen

Second Group: Hiroyuki Fujita, Francesco Molinari, and Soren Kjeldsen

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You don’t see that every day.

My favorite grouping is putting together young stars Ryo Ishikawa and Rory McIlroy with old-timer Tom Watson.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson enter the tournament as co-favorites.

Woods played fairly well his last tournament at the Memorial, finishing in a tie for 19th at Muirfield Village. 

Woods won the last time the Open was played at Pebble Beach in 2000, when he lapped the field and won by 15 strokes. Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez finished in a distant tie for second place 10 years ago.

Mickelson will try to win back-to-back majors. He won the Masters earlier this year, his only win in 2010.