It seems like an eternity since Tiger Woods won the last of his 14 majors, when beating Rocco Mediate in a play-off at the 2008 US Open and what was significant about this particular major was that it was the first time that the world’s top three players were grouped together for the opening two rounds.
And the decision has been made to do so again for the 2013 instalment at Merion Golf Club, which could be significant for Woods as he attempts to move one step closer to catching Jack Nicklaus as the most successful major winner ever.
Woods is the favourite at 5/1 in the US Open odds and will begin his quest to end his five-year drought without a major this year by teeing off alongside Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott through the opening two rounds.
This pair follow Woods in the US Open betting, with McIlroy 16/1 and Scott among a group of players at 20/1 as the Australian bids to become just the fifth player since World War II to win this major and the Masters in the same year.
What is additionally noteworthy is that Scott was a part of Woods’ threeball back in 2008, with McIlroy technically replacing Phil Mickelson.
McIlroy has never partnered Woods at a major before, but his record alongside the world number one when they have been on course in other PGA Tour events together does not make the best reading.
In their seven rounds together, Woods has shot the lowest round on six occasions, never shot over-par and beaten McIlroy by a combined 27 strokes.
Some other threeballs to track at Merion could well be that of Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose and Brandt Snedeker, who are numbers four, five and six in the golf world rankings respectively, alongside the American trio of Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Keegan Bradley.
Some 80 of the 112 previous winners of the US Open have been from the US.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.