Rory McIlroy grouped with Jason Day and Justin Rose at US Open

Paul Dunne will be first of Irish in action at Erin Hills as Phil Mickelson given late tee time

Defending US Open champion  Dustin Johnson has been grouped alongside his two predecessors, Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Defending US Open champion Dustin Johnson has been grouped alongside his two predecessors, Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

 

Rory McIlroy has been grouped alongside another former world number one in Jason Day and Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose for the first two rounds of next week’s US Open.

McIlroy earlier this week confirmed his participation at Erin Hills after recovering from a stress fracture to a rib which forced him to withdraw from last month’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

The Northern Irishman claimed his first Major victory in a wire-to-wire triumph at the 2011 US Open, defeating nearest challenger Day by eight shots, while the pair will be joined by 2013 champion Rose in Wisconsin.

The trio will tee off on Thursday at 2.09pm local time (7.09pm Irish time).

Paul Dunne will be the first Irish golfer in action after he came through qualifying to earn a debut at the championship. The Greystones golfer tees off from the first hole alongside Sweden’s David Lingmerth and China’s Haotong Li at 1.18pm Irish time on Thursday.

2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell is joined by the English duo of Lee West wood and Ross Fisher for his opening two rounds with a 2.02pm Irish time start from the 10th tee on Thursday.

The Irish contingent is completed by Shane Lowry, who is joined by the American duo of Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy, the three-ball going off the 10th tee just before 8pm Irish time in their first round.

Rose’s conqueror at the Masters, Sergio Garcia, will tee off with Bubba Watson, the 2012 and 2014 champion at Augusta, and Adam Scott, who walked away with the green jacket four years ago, at 1.36pm.

Title defence

The world number one, who broke his Major duck 12 months ago at Oakmont Country Club, will play alongside the man who pipped him to the title in a final-round showdown in 2015 and Germany’s 2014 winner.

Johnson is looking to become the first man to successfully defend his title since Curtis Strange in 1989 and clinch a first victory following a back injury which forced him to miss the Masters in April.

The trio will commence their first round at 9.35am.

Phil Mickelson has been handed a late tee time next Thursday, leaving open the faint possibility that he could still compete in the major championship at Erin Hills. Mickelson is scheduled to tee off at 2.20 pm (7.20pm Irish time).

The 46-year-old revealed recently that he played to skip the Open to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in southern California. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 am Pacific time (5pm Irish time), which makes it impossible for Mickelson to attend it and also make the roughly four-hour flight in his private jet to Wisconsin in time for his scheduled tee time.

But the late tee time is Mickelson’s only hope, because it means that a weather delay could give the five-times Major winner time to get there, if his tee time is pushed back to either late afternoon or Friday morning.

It is an unlikely scenario, but one that has prompted Mickelson not to officially withdraw from the only Major championship he has never won.

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