The USGA had a chance to generate all the buzz when it announced the U.S. Open tee times on Tuesday. Instead, it was a bit of a letdown.
The biggest takeaway from the fresh tee sheet for Thursday’s first round is Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau weren’t paired together. The two have developed quite a rivalry over the years, one that has intensified over the last couple of months.
However, according to former PGA Tour player and TV analyst Brad Faxon, DeChambeau and his camp shot down the idea when it was presented by the USGA.
“More people are knowing about this little fight. It’s kind of become a bit of a Vegas sort of situation here. I found out last night the USGA actually did call Bryson DeChambeau and his agent and asked them if they would be OK with that, and Bryson declined,” Faxon said Tuesday on SiriusXM.
The precedent certainly was there. The USGA typically likes to create groupings based on “themes” (i.e. recent major winners, USGA winners, etc.), and it could have easily built a grouping around DeChambeau and Koepka, who have won three of the last four U.S. Open titles. Alas, if Faxon has good sourcing, the USGA ultimately let DeChambeau call the shots, typically a move reserved for the player-run PGA Tour.
Instead, DeChambeau will play in a group with reigning U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama. Koepka, meanwhile, fills out a star-studded trio including Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa.
Here are some of the featured groupings for Rounds 1 and 2.
Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson, Shane Lowry
Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland
Kevin Kisner, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar
Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland
Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Phil Mickelson
Tony Finau, Abraham Ancer, Daniel Berger
Lee Westwood, Stewart Cink, Paul Casey
Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson
Will Zalatoris, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth
Dustin Johnson, Rory, McIlroy, Justin Rose
Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed
Get the full tee times and groupings at the USGA website.