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    All-star threesomes take Major spotlight

    Jun 14, 2012

    Three-time champion Tiger Woods will be playing in an all-American all-star group with Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson while the world’s top three players Luke Donald, defending champion Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood —all from across the pond—are grouped together for the first round of the 112th US Open on Thursday at Olympic Club in San Francisco.

    Focus is on the all-American trio, with a combined 19 Major titles, led by Woods who after falling out of the top 50 last year has risen to become the highest-ranked American at No. 4.

    Woods, the 14-time Major champion who has won the US Open in 2000 (Pebble Beach), 2002 (Bethpage Black) and 2008 (Torrey Pines), renews his rivalry with four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, while out to take a piece of the limelight is recently-crowned Masters champion and world No. 5 Watson.

    Woods topped the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio two weeks ago, while world No. 13 Mickelson ruled the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February and placed joint seventh in the recent Byron Nelson Championship. After winning the Masters, Watson tied for 18th in New Orleans then missed the cut at The Memorial.

    McIlroy missed the cut back-to-back at The Players Championship and The Memorial before a joint-seventh finish at the St. Jude Classic, Lee Westwood has four top-10 finishes this season, while Donald has one win and three other top-10 finishes.

    Florida-based Andy Zhang, 14, from China, made it to the field when English golfer Paul Casey withdrew because of a shoulder injury while 18-year-old Jordan Spieth replaced Brandt Snedeker, who pulled out due to a rib injury.

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