Talk about a featured group.
The USGA released its pairing sheet Thursday for next week's U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, and Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson will be playing in the same group in the first and second rounds of the tournament.
Woods and Mickelson were paired together along with Australian Adam Scott at the 2008 U.S. Open; Woods of course won that tournament, his last major championship win, and Mickelson finished T18.
The Woods/Mickelson/Watson group will start their opening round Thursday at 10:33 a.m. Eastern time; on Friday the group tees off at 4:18 p.m. Eastern time.
The USGA is known to favor quirky pairings for its U.S. Open championship and the 2012 edition is no exception. In addition to the high-powered star-wattage of Woods, Mickelson and Watson, you will also see the all-Korean, all-initialed pairing of K. J. Choi, Y. E. Yang, and K. T. Kim (11:28 a.m. Eastern on Thursday); the all-UK former and current No. 1 players Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald (4:29 p.m. Eastern on Thursday); the long-putter pairing of Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson (11:32 a.m. Eastern on Thursday); the former U.S. Open winners from around the world pairing of South Africa's Ernie Els, Australia's Geoff Ogilvy and Argentina's Angel Cabrera (5:02 p.m. Eastern on Thursday); and the dark-horse major winners pairing of Stewart Cink, Trevor Immelman and Lucas Glover (4:51 p.m. Eastern on Thursday).
If you find any other connections, please post them below. The more obscure, the better. Here are the complete U.S. Open pairings, with local Pacific times. (For logistical reasons, groups playing the back nine first will start on the ninth hole.): Thursday, hole #1; Friday, hole #97:15 a.m./12:30 p.m. – Scott Langley, Manchester, Mo.; Steve Lebrun, West Palm Beach, Fla.; A-Beau Hossler, Mission Viejo, Calif.
7:26 a.m./12:41 p.m. – Jason Bohn, Acworth, Ga.; Raphael Jacquelin, France; J. B. Park, Korea
7:37 a.m./12:52 p.m. – Michael Thompson, Birmingham, Ala.; TBD; Steve Marino, St. Simons Island, Ga.
7:48 a.m./1:03 p.m. – Brendan Jones, Australia; George Coetzee, South Africa; Gregory Bourdy, France
7:59 a.m./1:14 p.m. – A-Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif.; Jonathan Byrd, Sea Island, Ga.; Kyle Stanley, Gig Harbor, Wash.
8:10 a.m./1:25 p.m. – Retief Goosen, South Africa; Vijay Singh, Fiji; Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
8:21 a.m./1:36 p.m. – Paul Casey, England; Hiroyuki Fujita, Japan; Mark Wilson, Elmhurst, Ill.
8:32 a.m./1:47 p.m. – Adam Scott, Australia; Keegan Bradley, Jupiter, Fla.; Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C.
8:43 a.m./1:58 p.m. – Tim Clark, South Africa; Toru Taniguchi, Japan; Rod Pampling, Australia
8:54 a.m./2:09 p.m. – Francesco Molinari, Italy; Bo Van Pelt, Jenks, Okla.; Peter Hanson, Sweden
9:05 a.m./2:20 p.m. – D. A. Points, Windermere, Fla.; Dong-Hwan Lee, Korea; Kevin Streelman, Scottsdale, Ariz.
9:16 a.m./2:31 p.m. – Edward Loar, Dallas, Texas; Paul Claxton, Claxton, Ga.; Alistair Presnell, Australia
9:27 a.m./2:42 p.m. – Mark McCormick, Middletown, N.J.; A-Nick Sherwood, Albany, Ore.; Cole Howard, Fort Worth, Texas Thursday, hole #9; Friday, hole #17:00 a.m./12:45 p.m. – Shane Bertsch, Parker, Colo.; Martin Flores, Dallas, Texas; Tommy Biershenk, Inman, S.C.
7:11 a.m./12:56 p.m. – Scott Piercy, Las Vegas, Nev.; Matthew Baldwin, England; Matt Bettencourt, Greenville, S.C.
7:22 a.m./1:07 p.m. – Thomas Bjorn, Denmark; Kevin Na, Las Vegas, Nev.; Branden Grace, South Africa
7:33 a.m./1:18 p.m. – Phil Mickelson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Tiger Woods, Hobe Sound, Fla.; Bubba Watson, Scottsdale, Ariz.
7:44 a.m./1:29 p.m. – Joe Ogilvie, Austin, Texas; Stephen Ames, Canada; Tim Herron, Deephaven, Minn.
7:55 a.m./1:40 p.m. – Davis Love III, Sea Island, Ga.; Padraig Harrington, Ireland; David Toms, Shreveport, La.
8:06 a.m./1:51 p.m. – Carl Pettersson, Sweden; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Charles Howell III, Windermere, Fla.
8:17 a.m./2:02 p.m. – Robert Karlsson, Sweden; Bob Estes, Austin, Texas; Robert Rock, England
8:28 a.m./2:13 p.m. – K. J. Choi, Korea; Y. E. Yang, Korea; K. T. Kim, Korea
8:39 a.m./2:24 p.m. – Fredrik Jacobson, Sweden; Robert Garrigus, Phoenix, Ariz.; Alexander Noren, Sweden
8:50 a.m./2:35 p.m. – Gonzalo Fernandez-Castan'o, Spain; SangMoon Bae, Korea; Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Spain
9:01 a.m./2:46 p.m. – Marc Warren, Scotland; Anthony Summers, Australia; Michael Allen, Scottsdale, Ariz.
9:12 a.m./2:57 p.m. – Hunter Hamrick, Montgomery, Ala.; Tim Weinhart, Alpharetta, Ga.; Scott Smith, Fallon, Nev. Thursday, hole #9; Friday, hole #112:45 p.m./7 a.m. – Casey Martin, Eugene, Ore.; A-Cameron Wilson, Rowayton, Conn.; Dennis Miller, Youngstown, Ohio
12:56 p.m./7:11 a.m. – Jim Herman, Palm City, Fla.; William Lunde, Las Vegas, Nev.; David Mathis, Wake Forest, N.C.
1:07 p.m./7:22 a.m. – Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgium; Charlie Wi, Korea; Simon Dyson, England
1:18 p.m./7:33 a.m. – Alvaro Quiros, Spain; Gary Woodland, Topeka, Kan.; John Senden, Australia
1:29 p.m./7:44 a.m. – Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland; Luke Donald, England; Lee Westwood, England
1:40 p.m./7:55 a.m. – Jim Furyk, Ponte Vedra Bch, Fla.; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland
1:51 p.m./8:06 a.m. – Stewart Cink, Duluth, Ga.; Trevor Immelman, South Africa; Lucas Glover, Sea Island, Ga.
2:02 p.m./8:17 a.m. – Ernie Els, South Africa; Geoff Ogilvy, Australia; Angel Cabrera, Argentina
2:13 p.m./8:28 a.m. – Martin Laird, Scotland; Ben Crane, Beaverton, Ore.; Anders Hansen, Denmark
2:24 p.m./8:39 a.m. – Matteo Manassero, Italy; Aaron Baddeley, Australia; Miguel Angel Jimenez, Spain
2:35 p.m./8:50 a.m. – Brian Harman, St. Simons Island, Ga.; TBD; Mikko Ilonen, Finland
2:46 p.m./9:01 a.m. – Brice Garnett, Gallatin, Mo.; TBD; Jesse Mueller, Mesa, Ariz.
2:57 p.m./9:12 a.m. – Brian Rowell, Lafayette, La.; A-Alberto Sanchez, Nogales, Ariz.; Brian Gaffney, Monmouth Beach, N.J. Thursday, hole #9; Friday, hole #112:30 p.m./7:15 a.m. – John Peterson, Baton Rouge, La.; Morgan Hoffmann, Jupiter, Fla.; Aaron Watkins, Mesa, Ariz.
12:41 p.m./7:26 a.m. – Jeff Curl, Birmingham, Ala.; Nicholas Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla.; Casey Wittenberg, Memphis, Tenn.
12:52 p.m./7:37 a.m. – Soren Kjeldsen, Denmark; Chez Reavie, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Peter Lawrie, Ireland
1:03 p.m./7:48 a.m. – Michael Campbell, New Zealand; Olin Browne, Tequesta, Fla.; Joe Durant, Pensacola, Fla.
1:14 p.m./7:59 a.m. – Bill Haas, Greenville, S.C.; Nick Watney, Las Vegas, Nev.; Brandt Snedeker, Nashville, Tenn.
1:25 p.m./8:10 a.m. – Martin Kaymer, Germany; Hunter Mahan, Colleyville, Texas; Justin Rose, England
1:36 p.m./8:21 a.m. – Steve Stricker, Madison, Wis.; Ian Poulter, England; Matt Kuchar, St. Simons Island, Ga.
1:47 p.m./8:32 a.m. – Jason Day, Australia; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Jason Dufner, Auburn, Ala.
1:58 p.m./8:43 a.m. – Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif.; Ryo Ishikawa, Japan; Dustin Johnson, Jupiter, Fla.
2:09 p.m./8:54 a.m. – Hunter Haas, Fort Worth, Texas; Tadahiro Takayama, Japan; Lee Slattery, England
2:20 p.m./9:05 a.m. – Alex Cejka, Germany; Kevin Chappell, Fresno, Calif.; Blake Adams, Eatonton, Ga.
2:31 p.m./9:16 a.m. – James Hahn, San Bruno, Calif.; Darron Stiles, Pinehurst, N.C.; Roberto Castro, Alpharetta, Ga.
2:42 p.m./9:27 a.m. – A-Brooks Koepka, Tallahassee, Fla.; TBD; Samuel Osborne, England
More coverage at usopen.com
Talk about a featured group.