Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood at Doral this year. Photo Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.ieDefending champion Rory McIlroy has been grouped with two familair faces for the first two rounds of next week’s US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco - world No 1 Luke Donald and No 3 Lee Westwood.

It won’t be the first time this season that the world No 2 has faced his biggest rivals after being paired with the English duo for the opening rounds in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and last month’s BMW PGA at Wentworth.

The par-70, 7,170-yard Lake Course presents what is considered to be the toughest six opening holes in US Open history and McIlroy, Westwood and Donald will have to be on form from the start as they begin the season’s second major from the first tee.

Tiger Woods will begin his bid for a 15th major and fourth US Open on the ninth alongside arch-rival Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington will be the first Irishman in action as he goes out a few groups after the Woods-Mickelson-Watson trio at 15.55 Irish time on Thursday with former US PGA winners David Toms and Davis Love III, the US Ryder Cup skipper.

McIlroy is in the afternoon wave on day one with 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell in the group behind him alongside Spain’s Sergio Garcia and 2003 US Open champion Jim Furyk.

Dubliner Peter Lawrie will make his debut in a US major alongside Dane Soren Kjeldsen and American Chez Reavie from the ninth.

US Open, The Olympic Club (Lake Course), San Francisco, Calif (A=amateur, USA unless stated) June 14-17

Selected tee times (Irish time) Thurs/Fri

1st tee/9th tee

16:10/21:25 Retief Goosen (SA), Vijay Singh (Fij), Zach Johnson

16:32/21:47 Adam Scott (Aus), Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson


9th tee/1st tee

15:33/21:18 Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson

15:55/21:40 Davis Love III, Padraig Harrington (Ire), David Toms


1st tee/9th tee

21:29/15:44 Rory McIlroy (N Ire), Luke Donald (Eng), Lee Westwood (Eng)

21:40/15:55 Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia (Sp), Graeme McDowell (N Ire)

22:02/16:17 Ernie Els (SA), Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Angel Cabrera (Arg)


9th tee/1st tee

20:52/15:37 Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Chez Reavie, Peter Lawrie (Ire)

21:25/16:10 Martin Kaymer (Ger), Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose (Eng)

21:36/16:21 Steve Stricker, Ian Poulter (Eng), Matt Kuchar

21:47/ 16:32 Jason Day (Aus), Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Jason Dufner

Full US Open draw