One of the more anticipated moments in the days leading to the U.S. Open is the announcement of the tee times. Besides the traditional threesome of the defending champion (Gary Woodland), the reigning Open champion (Shane Lowry) and the 2019 U.S. Amateur champion (Andy Ogletree), USGA officials included a few fun groupings for Thursday and Friday.
How about the long-hitting threesome of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau? Major champions Tiger Woods, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas form one marquee group, while the trio of Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Justin Rose make up another.
A few of the pairings have a distinct college flair. Arizona State alums Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Paul Casey are together, as are ex-Oklahoma State standouts Matthew Wolff, Rickie Fowler and Viktor Hovland. Are you a fan of the University of Georgia Bulldogs? Check out the trio of Harris English, Brendon Todd and amateur Davis Thompson. There is also an all-Australia grouping of Matt Jones, Lucas Herbert and 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Lukas Michel as well as a Canada trio: Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes.
Davis Riley and Will Zalatoris are together with Romain Langasque. Not only did Zalatoris and Riley finish 1-2 on the regular-season Korn Ferry Tour money list, Zalatoris defeated Riley in the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur final.
The honor of hitting the first ball off No. 1 and No. 10 at 6:50 a.m. on Thursday went to a pair of locals: Brandon Wu, of Scarsdale, N.Y., and club professional Danny Balin, of White Plains, N.Y., respectively. No matter what happens in the championship, it will be a moment to remember for both.