U.S. Open first- and second-round pairings released: Tiger, Phil and Bubba!
By Stephanie Wei under US Open

Tiger, Phil and Bubba together won't create a zoo or anything!

I look forward to the U.S. Open pairings every year and they certainly don’t disappoint this year.  The USGA likes to have fun with the pairings for the first two rounds and it’s transparent about putting together guys with a random commonality and grouping marquee threesomes.

Of course, the two that grabbed my attention the most were: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, and Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood.


Apparently this year guys with similar names were a common theme, like Robert Karlsson, Bob Estes and Robert Rock, and Carl Pettersson, Charl Schwartzel and Charles Howell III. Then there was the “Korean group with initials in the first names:” Y.E. Yang, K.T. Kim and K.J. Choi. Also, players with three names: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castańo, Sang-Moon Bae and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

I’ve marked the groups that jumped out to me in bold text below. Did I miss anything? Which are your favorites?

Oh, to clarify, players will tee off No. 9 instead of No. 10 because of logistics with No. 9’s proximity to the clubhouse. The first eight holes at Olympic are arguably the hardest eight-hole stretch in golf.


Thursday (June 14), hole #1; Friday (June 15), hole #9

7:15 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 (Former major winners…)

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. (Clean-cut, kind of pretty boys)

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 (June 14), hole #9; Friday (June 15), hole #1

7 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. (America’s Big-3 Favorites — all of whom really like camera phones…)

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. (Former major champs…)

8:06 a.m. / 1:51 p.m. – Carl Pettersson, Sweden; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Charles Howell III, Windermere, Fla. (Guys who names start with “C”)

8:17 a.m. / 2:02 p.m. – Robert Karlsson, Sweden; Bob Estes, Austin, Texas; Robert Rock, England (Guys named “Bob”)

8:28 a.m. / 2:13 p.m. – K. J. Choi, Korea; Y. E. Yang, Korea; K. T. Kim, Korea (Koreans and initials!)

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-Castańo, Spain; Sang-Moon Bae, Korea; Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Spain (Guys with three names — that’s a mouthful!)

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 (June 14), hole #1; Friday (June 15), hole #9

12:45 p.m. / 7 a.m. – Casey Martin, Eugene, Ore.; A-Cameron Wilson, Rowayton, Conn.; Dennis Miller, Youngstown, Ohio (Miller and Martin — the Cinderella Stories)

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 (Quiros and Woodland: the Bombers…)

1:29 p.m. / 7:44 a.m. – Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland; Luke Donald, England; Lee Westwood, England (The Big Three)

1:40 p.m. / 7:55 a.m. – Jim Furyk, Ponte Vedra Bch, Fla.; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland (Hey, we’ve all won majors — oh wait, never mind, Sergio…)

1:51 p.m. / 8:06 a.m. – Stewart Cink, Duluth, Ga.; Trevor Immelman, South Africa; Lucas Glover, Sea Island, Ga. (I’ve-won-a-major, guys, remember???)

2:02 p.m. / 8:17 a.m. Ernie Els, South Africa; Geoff Ogilvy, Australia; Angel Cabrera, Argentina (More major champs…)

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 (June 14), hole #9; Friday (June 15), hole #1

12:30 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. (Young guns…)

1:25 p.m. / 8:10 a.m. – Martin Kaymer, Germany; Hunter Mahan, Colleyville, Texas; Justin Rose, England (Nice guys…)

1:36 p.m. / 8:21 a.m. – Steve Stricker, Madison, Wis.; Ian Poulter, England; Matt Kuchar, St. Simons Island, Ga. (Umm….? Help me out here. Guys who don’t hit it super long but are steady? Best players without a major?)

1:47 p.m. / 8:32 a.m. – Jason Day, Australia; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Jason Dufner, Auburn, Ala. (Recent runner-ups at majors)

1:58 p.m. / 8:43 a.m. – Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif.; Ryo Ishikawa, Japan; Dustin Johnson, Jupiter, Fla. (Teenie-bopper heartthrobs)

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