Bubba Watson wins the 2012 Masters.(By Streeter Lecka, Getty Images)
San Francisco, CA (written by Joe Fleming/USA Today) -- How about this for a first-round pairing in the U.S. Open next week at Olympic Club in San Francisco: Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson.
Those three combine for eight Masters green jackets, Woods has four, Mickelson three and Watson one.
They also combine for three U.S. Open titles. Woods, though, has all three of those. Mickelson is a five-time runner-up.
They'll tee off at 10:33 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday off the No. 9 tee. They'll go from No. 1 on Friday at 4:18 p.m. ET.
Woods and Mickelson have not been paired in the U.S. Open since 2008, the first year the USGA began grouping players off the world ranking.
Woods won Sunday at the Memorial Tournament, once again pushing him to favorite status. However, he won his tuneup before the Masters, as well (Arnold Palmer Invitational), but tied for 40th in the season's first major.
Other key groupings for the national championship. All times are Eastern:
4:29 p.m. (No. 1) / 10:44 a.m. (No. 9) - Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland; Luke Donald, England; Lee Westwood, England
4:58 p.m. (No. 9)/ 11:43 a.m. (No. 1) - Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif.; Ryo Ishikawa, Japan; Dustin Johnson, Jupiter, Fla.
11:32 a.m. (No. 1)/ 4:47 p.m. (No. 9) - Adam Scott, Australia; Keegan Bradley, Jupiter, Fla.; Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C.
Other groupings of interest:
There's also the group of South Koreans - Y.E. Yang, K.J. Choi and K.T. Kim., 11:28 a.m. (No. 9) / 5:13 p.m. (No. 1).
A trio of U.S. Open champions - Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera, 5:02 p.m. (No. 1) / 11:17 a.m. (No. 9)
And you have to hand it to the USGA for this outside-the-box group - Carl Pettersson, Charl Schwartzel and Charles Howell III, 11:06 a.m. (No. 9) / 4:51 p.m. (No. 1)
See the complete pairings here.