U.S. Open tee times 2014: Pairings and start time for Thursday's opening round

Streeter Lecka

The season's second major arrives Thursday morning at Pinehurst, where a 156-man field will compete for America's national championship.

The 114th edition of the U.S. Open tees off just after sunrise Thursday in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Pinehurst is often referred to as the home of the American golf, an area loaded with courses with years of history and tradition. The Pinehurst No. 2 Donald Ross design is, of course, the most famous layout and it's been restored to those original conditions set up by Ross for this year's national championship.

The U.S. Open is always one of the bigger logistical challenges of the year, a huge 156-man field needing to play sun-up to sun-down at an event that's usually known for traffic jams and slow pace of play. In contrast, the Masters almost never has a field in triple digits and can comfortably send all tee times off the first tee with plenty of cushion. Here, groups of three will go off split tees and promptly crowd up the course. The first tee time goes out before 7 a.m., a rare occurrence on the PGA Tour but the USGA needs to push the limit to get those 156 guys through 18 slogging holes.

The one benefit, of course, is that the U.S. Open always comes during some of the longest days of the year. The drawback, however, is that the eastern U.S., where so many of the venues are located, is often hit with pop-up thunderstorms this time of year. We saw last year's edition at Merion hammered by an early "derecho" storm on Thursday, and the three-plus hour delay required the USGA to need three days just to get back on schedule for Sunday. There are storms in the forecast this week in North Carolina, but if the bad ones hold off until the weekend and after the field is cut in half, that will mitigate some of the scheduling difficulty.

This major is a true "open" and this week's field is comprised of significantly more sectional qualifiers (82) than bigger name touring pros who earned exemptions (74). The biggest name in the game, Tiger Woods, is obviously absent from the tee sheet again. But there are still plenty of stars for the USGA to put on each side of the draw for the first two rounds. On Thursday, the morning draw will feature Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, and Jordan Spieth, among others. The afternoon wave is loaded up with the last three Masters champs (Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and Charl Schwartzel), three recent PGA Champions (Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Martin Kaymer), and three British Open winners (Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen).

The USGA always gets a little creative when putting their groups together, finding some common strain whether it's the sound of a name (e.g. Gay, Levet, Havret in 2011), nationality, body type, or some sort of past history between the members of a tee time. The so-called heavyweight group this year is made up of Kevin Stadler, Shane Lowry, and Brendon de Jonge. Golf Channel's Jason Sobel talked to each of those three about the USGA's decision to put their paunches in the same group, and two of them were none too pleased, Stadler calling it "mean and insensitive."

Mickelson is the big draw this year, the narrative of a six-time runner-up returning to the scene of his first crushing defeat one year after his latest heartbreak drowning the coverage. He'll start his week at 7:51 a.m. on the 10th tee with the guy who beat him last year, Rose, and amateur star Matthew Fitzpatrick. Phil has not been playing well this year, so getting out early before the cameras are on and the course is in perfect condition might be the best way to start.

Here's the full tee sheet for Thursday's opening round:

Morning wave off No. 1:

Tee time

Players

6:45 a.m.

Daniel Berger

Brett Stegmaier

Cameron Wilson (a)

6:56 a.m.

Marcel Siem

Brian Stuard

Andrea Pavan

7:07 a.m.

Matt Every

Roberto Castro

Matt Jones

7:18 a.m.

Sergio Garcia

Jason Day

Brandt Snedeker

7:29 a.m.

Henrik Stenson

Matt Kuchar

Lee Westwood

7:40 a.m.

Webb Simpson

Rory McIlroy

Graeme McDowell

7:51 a.m.

Ian Poulter

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Thongchai Jaidee

8:02 a.m.

Nick Watney

Jonas Blixt

Joost Luiten

8:13 a.m.

Billy Horschel

Billy Hurley III

Robert Allenby

8:24 a.m.

Aaron Baddeley

Oliver Goss (a)

Aron Price

8:35 a.m.

Tom Lewis

Craig Barlow

Justin Thomas

8:46 a.m.

Robby Shelton (a)

Matthew Dobyns

Brady Watt

8:57 a.m.

Clayton Rask

Brian Campbell (a)

Nicholas Mason

Morning wave off No. 10

Tee time

Players

6:45 a.m.

Henrik Norlander

Lucas Bjerregaard

Rob Oppenheim

6:56 a.m.

Chad Collins

Kyoung-Hoon Lee

Kevin Kisner

7:07 a.m.

Erik Compton

Pablo Larrazabal

Scott Langley

7:18 a.m.

Patrick Reed

Ryan Moore

Kevin Na

7:29 a.m.

Boo Weekley

D.A. Points

Stephen Gallacher

7:40 a.m.

Zach Johnson

Angel Cabrera

David Toms

7:51 a.m.

Justin Rose

Matthew Fitzpatrick (a)

Phil Mickelson

8:02 a.m.

Chris Kirk

Russell Henley

Brendon Todd

8:13 a.m.

Jordan Spieth

Hideki Matsuyama

Rickie Fowler

8:24 a.m.

Kenny Perry

Jeff Maggert

Kevin Sutherland

8:35 a.m.

Wen-Chong Liang

Maximilian Kieffer

Shiv Kapur

8:46 a.m.

Smylie Kaufman

Maverick McNealy (a)

Brandon McIver (a)

8:57 a.m.

Anthony Broussard

Will Grimmer (a)

Nicholas Lindheim

Afternoon wave off No. 1

Tee time

Players

12:30 p.m.

Garth Mulroy

Steven Alker

Bobby Gates

12:41 p.m.

Niclas Fasth

Kiyoshi Miyazato

Hudson Swafford

12:52 p.m.

John Senden

Nicolas Colsaerts

Brooks Koepka

1:03 p.m.

Dustin Johnson

Jimmy Walker

Victor Dubuisson

1:14 p.m.

Stewart Cink

Justin Leonard

Y.E. Yang

1:25 p.m.

Bubba Watson

Adam Scott

Charl Schwartzel

1:36 p.m.

Ernie Els

Darren Clarke

Louis Oosthuizen

1:47 p.m.

Jason Dufner

Keegan Bradley

Martin Kaymer

1:58 p.m.

Hunter Mahan

Francesco Molinari

Jamie Donaldson

2:09 p.m.

Bo Van Pelt

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

Seung-yul Noh

2:20 p.m.

Danny Willett

Cory Whitsett (a)

Luke Guthrie

2:31 p.m.

Kevin Tway

Jim Renner

Chris Doak

2:42 p.m.

Cody Gribble

Chris Thompson

Andrew Dorn (a)

Afternoon wave off No. 10

Tee time

Players

12:30 p.m.

Alex Cejka

Graeme Storm

David Oh

12:41 p.m.

Oliver Fisher

Casey Wittenberg

Andres Echavarria

12:52 p.m.

Joe Ogilvie

Mark Wilson

Ken Duke

1:03 p.m.

Jim Furyk

Steve Stricker

Bill Haas

1:14 p.m.

Brendon de Jonge

Kevin Stadler

Shane Lowry

1:25 p.m.

Luke Donald

Harris English

Paul Casey

1:36 p.m.

J.B. Holmes

Gary Woodland

Graham DeLaet

1:47 p.m.

Retief Goosen

Geoff Ogilvy

Lucas Glover

1:58 p.m.

Bernd Wiesberger

Hyung-Sung Kim

Toru Taniguchi

2:09 p.m.

Ryan Palmer

Rod Pampling

Kevin Streelman

2:20 p.m.

Azuma Yano

Ryan Blaum

David Gossett

2:31 p.m.

Simon Griffiths

Fran Quinn

Donald Constable

2:42 p.m.

Hunter Stewart (a)

Sam Love (a)

Zac Blair

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