Jun 5, 2008
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Woods grouped with Mickelson and Scott at Torrey Pines

Jun 5, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tiger Woods will launch his bid for a 14th major victory in high-profile company with world number two Phil Mickelson and third-ranked Adam Scott at next week's U.S. Open.

World number one Woods, fellow American Mickelson and Australian Scott are scheduled to tee off on the first hole at 4:06 p.m. British time in Thursday's opening round at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

The heavyweight trio will start from the 10th tee at 9:36 p.m. British time in Friday's second round.

Woods, despite having been sidelined for eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery midway through April, is heavy favourite to win the second major championship of the year.

U.S. Open champion at Pebble Beach in 2000 and at Bethpage Black in 2002, he has clinched the PGA Tour's Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines for the last four years and six times overall.

Left-hander Mickelson, a three-times major champion who lives in nearby Rancho Santa Fe, California, probably knows the course better than anyone else in the field.

He first visited Torrey Pines as a child and has won the Buick Invitational there three times -- in 1993, 2000 and 2001.

U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina, who claimed last year's title by a shot at Oakmont Country Club, has been grouped with British Open winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland and American Davis Love III for the first two rounds.

Other notable threesomes include South African Ernie Els, Australia's Geoff Ogilvy and Britain's Justin Rose; Fijian Vijay Singh, Spaniard Sergio Garcia and American Stewart Cink; and a trio of former Masters champions in South African Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson of the U.S. and Canadian Mike Weir.

World number 17 Luke Donald tees off in an all-British grouping with Paul Casey and fashion-conscious Ian Poulter, who is one of the most flamboyant dressers in the game.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Clare Lovell)

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