Johannesburg – It might just be a good omen, because the South African trio of Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Tim Clark have been drawn together as a grouping for rounds one and two of this week’s US Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, and Clark, the 2010 Players champion have a 7.33am tee-time (1.33pm SA time) in Thursday’s first round and will again be together on Friday (7.03pm SA time) for round two of the year’s second Major.
Close friends all three – in fact Oosthuizen and Schwartzel are the best of pals – being in the same threeball for the first 36 holes could well be a positive, as they will be relaxed and, as happens in golf, you’re invariably going to pull and encourage your fellow countryman even if he or she happens to be an opponent.
Current British Open champion Ernie Els, winner of the US Open in 1994 and 1997, is drawn with defending champion, American Webb Simpson and amateur Steven Fox.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Masters winner Adam Scott, the top three in the world rankings, are the glamour threeball.
SELECTED GROUPINGS ROUND ONE
TEE NO 1 ON THURSDAY
7.29am Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Rory Sabbatini (SA), David Lingmerth (Swe)
7.40am George Coetzee (SA), Martin Laird (Sco), Marcel Siem (Ger)
12.52pm Luke Donald (Eng), Lee Westwood (Eng), Martin Kaymer (Ger)
1.14pm Tiger Woods (US), Rory McIlroy N Irl), Adam Scott (Aus)
1.36pm Webb Simpson (US), amateur-Steven Fox (US), Ernie Els (SA)
TEE NO 11 ON THURSDAY
7am Bubba Watson (US), Dustin Johnson (US), Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)
7.11am Phil Mickelson (US), Steve Stricker (US), Keegan Bradley (US)
7.22am Matt Kuchar (US), Justin Rose (Eng), Brandt Snedeker US)
7.33am Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Charl Schwartzel (SA), Tim Clark (SA)
7.44am Sergio Garcia (Esp), Stewart Cink (US), Padraig Harrington Irl)
7.55am Ian Poulter (Eng), Jason Dufner (US), Boo Weekley US)
8.50am David Hearn (can), TBD; Jaco van Zyl (SA)
2.13pm Branden Grace (SA), Sang-Moon Bae (Kor), Russell Henley (US) – The Star