Woods, Mickelson highlight U.S. Open

June 11, 2008 at 9:32 PM
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SAN DIEGO, June 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Open, always an anticipated week on the world's golfing calendar, begins Thursday with this year's version having a special feature.

For the first time in the 108-year history of the event, the top three players in the world will be paired for the first two rounds.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott will begin play at 8:06 a.m. PDT at the Torrey Pines course.

Woods is making his first appearance since the Masters, where he finished second to Trevor Immelman. The following week Woods underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and he admitted on his arrival at Torrey Pines that the knee is still sore.

With Woods not the prohibitive favorite he usually is, a wide open tournament is expected with Mickelson, Immelman, Scott, Sergio Garcia and Boo Weekley among the many being given consideration.

Jim Furyk, who has finished second in each of the last two Opens, was the last American to win the tournament. After Furyk won in 2003, the event has been claimed by players from the south of the Equator -- Retief Goosen (South Africa), Michael Campbell (New Zealand), Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) and Angel Cabrera (Argentina).

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