The U.S. Open is not a tradition unlike any other. It's not overseas with a classic jug as its trophy. It doesn't don the name of the golf association.

It's just the hardest test at a major championship every year. It's the national tournament. This year, it's going to be hot right out of the gate as well.

The group of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson is as star studded as it gets. Having all three of these golfers together to open the tournament will surely have an effect on the number of fans tuning in to see golfers try to conquer Olympic Field in San Francisco, CA.

If you have the audacity to pay attention to any other group, set your eyes on the group of Casey Martin, Dennis Miller and Cameron Wilson. I've written in the past couple of weeks about Martin qualifying for the U.S. Open 14 years after he last played in it. If for nothing else, there will be a sense of nostalgia seeing him in his golf cart at Olympic Field. Who knows, he just might top his T23 performance from over a decade ago and find himself in a much bigger spotlight than he currently occupies at the University of Oregon.

There's also a foreign invasion group looking to snag the U.S. Open Championship which consists of Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. If you're looking to put your money in any group to win this thing, this group could be your best bet. McIlroy won it last year, Donald is coming off his best year ever and Westwood is bound to win a major at some point.

There are 41 American players and 36 international players in pursuit of a major championship over the next four days. If the past is any indication of the future, we know one thing is certain...

The course will shine just as much as the players and be one of the biggest factor in victory or defeat.


1. Tiger Woods (I don't know why I keep doing this... maybe I'll be right one day and feel good about myself)
2. Rory McIlroy (Won't quite earn a repeat victory... but he'll be close)
3. Sergio Garcia (He said himself he can't win a major... but he can be in contention)
4. Luke Donald (Can never be counted out... has a good chance to win)
5. Lee Westwood (Won't win his first major... and might start thinking like Garcia does)

Round 1 pairings/Tee Times

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