Woods, Thomas, Johnson grouped together at US Open

Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods wait to putt on the 12th green during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines North on January 27, 2017 in San Diego, California
AFP

New York (AFP) – Tiger Woods will tee it up in his first US Open since 2015 alongside world number one Justin Thomas and the man Thomas replaced atop the summit, Dustin Johnson.

The US Golf Association released first- and second-round tee times for the 118th US Open on Thursday, and once again their featured groups promise plenty of fireworks.

Woods, whose 14 major titles include three US Opens, has gone from strength to strength in his comeback this year from spinal fusion surgery. The 32-year-old superstar will have a closeup view of the game’s current top two players when the trio tees off in the first round on June 14 at 1:47 p.m. (1747 GMT) from the first tee at Shinnecock Hills alongside Thomas and Johnson.

Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy, the 2011 US Open champion, will launch his bid for a fifth major title alongside 2015 winner Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson — who has six runner-up finishes but no US Open on his resume. They will tee off on 10 in the first round at 8:02 a.m.

Playing right behind them will be Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, Australian Marc Leishman and American Rickie Fowler.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka who won last year at Erin Hills, is grouped with fellow American Bubba Watson and Australian Jason Day — a trio with four majors among them. They’ll tee off on the first on Thursday at 7:40 a.m.

Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia, fourth-ranked Jon Rahm and Rafael Cabrera Bello will play together in an all-Spanish group over the first two rounds.

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