Top 3 paired together for 2 rounds

The top three players in the world rankings -- Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott -- will be grouped together for the first two rounds of the 113th U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at Merion Golf Club outside of Philadelphia.

The USGA tweeted that information, also saying Woods, McIlroy and Scott, who won the Masters in April, will begin their first round at 1:14 p.m. ET Thursday starting on the first tee, then will begin the second round at No. 11 on Friday at 7:44 a.m. Groupings in the first two rounds will go off on the first and 11th tees.

It will be the first time that No. 1 Woods and No. 2 McIlroy will be grouped together in a major championship.

They have played in the same group officially 12 times around the world, with Woods shooting the better score on nine occasions. The last time they were together was during the first rounds of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, where Woods won in March.

"Decent group for the first 2 rounds at Merion I see ..." McIlroy tweeted on Friday.

This will be the second time -- and first in a PGA Tour event -- that Woods and Scott have been paired together since Woods' former caddie, Steve Williams, was hired by the Australian. It also happened at the 2011 Presidents Cup.

Scott was part of a 1-2-3 grouping with Woods – along with Phil Mickelson – at the 2008 U.S. Open, the last of Woods' 14 major championship victories. McIlroy, 24, is seeking a major championship for the third consecutive year. Scott is looking to add to his first major title that he captured at Augusta National.

Others who are grouped together for the first round:

Long hitters Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts (7 a.m. ET, 12:30 p.m.); five-time U.S. Open runner-up Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Keegan Bradley (7:11, 12:41); Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker (7:22, 12:52); Sergio Garcia, Stewart Cink, Padraig Harrington (7:44, 1:14); Ian Poulter, Jason Dufner, Boo Weekley (7:55, 1:25); Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer (12:52, 7:22); Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson (1:03, 7:33). Defending champion Webb Simpson will play with U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox and Open Championship winner Ernie Els (1:36, 8:06).

Garcia and Woods will be playing in the same tournament for the first time since their war of words began during The Players Championship last month. They won't play together at least for the weekday rounds at the Open, but Garcia still might not be thrilled with his group. Garcia and Harrington, despite being Ryder Cup teammates, are not terribly close. Harrington beat the Spaniard in a playoff at Carnoustie to win his first major in the 2007 Open Championship, and the Irishman beat him again a year later in the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

Tee times begin at 6:45 a.m. ET for the first two rounds and go until 2:57 p.m.

ESPN has live coverage of the first round rounds of the U.S .Open beginning at 9 a.m. ET.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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