U.S. Open 2018: Tiger Woods paired with Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, while Phil Mickelson joins Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy
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Tiger Woods will be making his first U.S. Open appearance since 2015 when he tees it up at Shinnecock Hills next week. And he'll do so flanked by the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world.
The USGA announced its first and second round pairings for the 118th U.S. Open Championship on Thursday, highlighted by the supergroup of Woods, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson. Tiger will be seeking his fourth U.S. Open title, his last coming in 2008 at Torrey Pines, and 15th major overall, although he has not posted a top-10 at the tournament since 2010. Johnson missed the cut in last year's title defense at Erin Hills, while Thomas tied a U.S. Open record with a Saturday 63 at the Wisconsin venue. The trio goes off on Thursday at 1:47 p.m. ET and Friday at 8:02 a.m.
This was not the only power pairing from the USGA. Phil Mickelson, the perennial Charlie Brown of the U.S. Open, will try to kick that elusive football with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy in tow. Spieth and McIlroy have U.S. Opens under their belt, although both have struggled since their titles: Spieth has not cracked the top 30 in the last two years, while McIlroy has a lone top 10 since his Congressional victory in 2011. Mickelson, Spieth, and McIlroy begin at 8:02 a.m. on Thursday and 1:47 p.m. on Friday.
Other marquee groups including reigning U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka with Bubba Watson and Jason Day; a Spanish trifecta of Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello; fan favorite Rickie Fowler going with Hideki Matsuyama and Marc Leishman; green jacket winner Patrick Reed playing with Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel.
The U.S. Open begins on June 14th. It will be the championship's fifth visit to Shinnecock Hills.