- Associated Press - Thursday, June 7, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Bubba Watson will play in the same group for the opening two rounds of the U.S. Open.

It will be the first time Woods and Mickelson have been paired in the U.S. Open since the USGA grouped players off the world ranking at Torrey Pines in 2008. The rankings were used for another big group _ Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood.

Woods is coming off a win at the Memorial, making him one of the favorites next week at The Olympic Club.

Mickelson has finished runner-up a record five times in the U.S. Open. In a bizarre coincidence, the U.S. Open champion has played with Mickelson in the opening rounds _ Woods in 2008, McIlroy last year at Congressional.

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