U.S. Open 2013: Tee times and pairings for Thursday

Drew Hallowell

The chance for inclement weather is high on Thursday at Merion, which could create a logistical nightmare as the USGA works to get 156 players through 18 holes.

The season's second major begins just after dawn outside Philadelphia on Thursday, as 156 players begin the 2013 U.S. Open on the East Course of Merion Golf Club. The USGA's national championship contains one of the largest fields all year on tour, requiring threesomes to go off split tees from sun-up to sun-down for the first two days of tournament play.

Much like last year at Olympic, the split tees aren't evenly broken up, with players going off the back side at No. 11. Merion is a throwback, playing right around 7,000 yards and set up on acreage that's usually reserved for just nine holes at a typical U.S. Open. The contained land forced the USGA to get creative with the placement of the practice range and routing, and they decided that No. 11 would be the best position to send players out on the back nine. The players will also need to allow for a half-hour shuttle ride between their final shot on the driving range and their first tee shot of the day.

Tee times on Thursday will run from 6:45 a.m. ET up to 2:57 p.m., with the USGA distributing the biggest names in the game evenly in both the morning and afternoon waves. It's the afternoon wave, however, that could encounter trouble with inclement weather almost a certainty during the first round. The chance of rain is near 100 percent and there's also potential for significant, damaging winds. The course has already taken on more than five inches of rain in the week leading up to the first round, so additional rain will result in mud balls -- globs of mud that stick to the ball and significantly affect where a player expects the shot to track. The USGA absolutely will not put "left, clean, and place" rules into effect -- they'd likely cancel the round before ever relenting to that form of play. So if the rain does come in as forecasted, the afternoon set of players could have more difficult conditions.

The headline group of the day will play in that afternoon wave, as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Adam Scott are set to tee off No. 1 at 1:14 p.m. The USGA is known for getting creative with their pairings, seeking out a similar strain to put players together -- sometimes by surname, past drama, length off the tee, or even paunchy body type. The rationale for the Woods-Rory-Scott pairing is simple: they're the top three players in the world. Tiger and Rory are the Nike duo who seemed on their way to developing a friendly rivalry last fall, but Rory's struggles this season have yielded the No. 1 ranking and title of undisputed best player in the world back to Woods. Scott enters the week off his green jacket win at Augusta, where he broke the Aussie curse and his own personal mixed history at the majors. That win could propel him to several more over the next five decades, but whether it's deserved or not, he's the third wheel of this group.

The rain is supposed to move in overnight and get progressively worse as the afternoon approaches. That could force the USGA to suspend the round if conditions become unplayable with more rain dumping on the already saturated course. The forecast for the remaining three days looks pretty clear, so it's likely they'll get the tournament in by Sunday night even if part of Thursday is washed out.

With those weather caveats in mind, here is the complete tee sheet for Thursday's opening round.

Morning wave off No. 1:

Tee Time Grouping
06:45 a.m. Cliff Kresge Roger Tambellini Ryan Yip
06:56 a.m Rikard Karlberg Yui Ueda John Parry
07:07 a.m Nick Watney Peter Hanson Hunter Mahan
07:18 a.m Lucas Glover Paul Casey Bill Haas
07:29 a.m Aaron Baddeley Rory Sabbatini David Lingmerth
07:40 a.m George Coetzee Martin Laird Marcel Siem
07:51 a.m Jerry Kelly Charley Hoffman John Huh
08:02 a.m Henrik Stenson Ryan Moore Robert Garrigus
08:13 a.m Ryan Palmer Simon Khan Ted Potter Jr.
08:24 a.m Shawn Stefani a-Michael Kim Nicholas Thompson
08:35 a.m Chris Doak Andrew Svoboda Douglas LaBelle II
08:46 a.m Kevin Sutherland Matt Weibring Randall Hutchison
08:57 a.m a-Cory McElyea Ryan Nelson John Hahn

Morning wave of No. 11:

Tee Time Grouping
07:00 a.m Bubba Watson Dustin Johnson Nicolas Colsaerts
07:11 a.m Phil Mickelson Steve Stricker Keegan Bradley
07:22 a.m Matt Kuchar Justin Rose Brandt Snedeker
07:33 a.m Louis Oosthuizen Charl Schwartzel Tim Clark
07:44 a.m Sergio Garcia Stewart Cink Padraig Harrington
07:55 a.m Ian Poulter Jason Dufner Boo Weekley
08:06 a.m Rickie Fowler Matteo Manassero Jason Day
08:17 a.m Y.E. Yang Fredrik Jacobson Hiroyuki Fujita
08:28 a.m Scott Stallings John Peterson Robert Karlsson
08:39 a.m Jay Don Blake Brandt Jobe Michael Campbell
08:50 a.m David Hearn Mike Weir Jaco Van Zyl
09:01 a.m a-Kevin Phelan Wil Collins Harold Varner III
09:12 a.m a-Cheng-Tsung Pan Mackenzie Hughes Geoffrey Sisk

Afternoon wave off No. 1:

Tee Time Grouping
12:30 p.m. David Toms Darren Clarke Jose Maria Olazabal
12:41 p.m. Geoff Ogilvy Angel Cabrera Paul Lawrie
12:52 p.m. Luke Donald Lee Westwood Martin Kaymer
01:03 p.m. Jim Furyk Graeme McDowell Zach Johnson
01:14 p.m. Tiger Woods Rory McIlroy Adam Scott
01:25 p.m. Thongchai Jaidee Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano Thorbjorn Olesen
01:36 p.m. Webb Simpson a-Steven Fox Ernie Els
01:47 p.m. Kyle Stanley Joe Ogilvie Luke Guthrie
01:58 p.m. Josh Teater Yoshinobu Tsukada Eddie Pepperell
02:09 p.m. Edward Loar Morten Orum Madsen Jung-Gon Hwang
02:20 p.m. a-Max Homa Russell Knox Matt Bettencourt
02:31 p.m. Adam Hadwin John Nieporte Jim Herman
02:42 p.m. Brandon Brown a-Grayson Murray Jesse Smith

Afternoon wave off No. 11:

Tee Time Grouping
12:45 p.m. Justin Hicks David Howell Brian Stuard
12:56 p.m. Brendan Steele Estanislao Goya Peter Hedblom
01:07 p.m. Marc Leishman John Senden Marcus Fraser
01:18 p.m. Scott Langley a-Chris Williams Morgan Hoffmann
01:29 p.m. Michael Thompson a-Michael Weaver Casey Wittenberg
01:40 p.m. K.J. Choi Francesco Molinari Carl Pettersson
01:51 p.m. Scott Piercy Kevin Chappell Jamie Donaldson
02:02 p.m. Bo Van Pelt Kevin Streelman D.A. Points
02:13 p.m. Branden Grace Sang-Moon Bae Russell Henley
02:24 p.m. Hideki Matsuyama Billy Horschel Jordan Spieth
02:35 p.m. Mathew Goggin Steven Alker Alistair Presnell
02:46 p.m. Matt Harmon a-Gavin Hall Bio Kim
02:57 p.m. Zack Fischer Ryan Sullivan Brandon Crick

More golf from SB Nation:

Masters champ aims for back-to-back

Helicopters couldn’t dry Merion

A guide to the East Course at Merion Golf Club

Rory likes ‘em slow

Tee times for the first two rounds

How’d they all get to Merion?

Four Days in Fort Worth: Putting on a PGA Tour event

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