Tiger gets favorable
draw for U.S. Open
Star will tee off long before
other stars take course
Lm Otero / AP
FAR HILLS, N.J. - Tiger Woods received a favorable draw Friday, when the tee times for the first two rounds of next week’s U.S. Open were released by the USGA.
Woods tees off Thursday at 8 a.m. EDT at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, giving him a chance to post a good score before the meat of the contenders hit the course for the second major of the season.
The world’s top-ranked player, Woods plays the first two rounds with Chad Campbell and Shigeki Maruyama of Japan. Their second round gets underway Friday at 1 p.m. on the 10th tee.
Jim Furyk was not expected to defend his U.S. Open title, but he is in a trio with British Open winner Ben Curtis and U.S. Amateur champ Nick Flanagan of Australia. Recovering from wrist surgery, Furyk still can withdraw.
David Duval is scheduled to go off in the fifth group Thursday, but the former world No. 1 and British Open winner has yet to play this season as he retools a lost game.
Two-time U.S. Open winner Ernie Els of South Africa is off the first tee Thursday at 8:20 a.m. with Aussie Robert Allenby and Chris DiMarco. The trio starts on the back nine Friday at 1 p.m.
Among those starting on the first tee Thursday afternoon are David Toms and Padraig Harrington of Ireland at 12:40; Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Aussie Stuart Appleby at 1; and Vijay Singh of Fiji at 1:10.
The two premier lefthanders in the sport get started off the 10th tee Thursday - 2003 Masters champ Mike Weir of Canada at 12:20 and reigning Masters winner Phil Mickelson at 1.
Mickelson figures to be a fan favorite, as he was two years ago for the U.S. Open at nearby Bethpage State Park.