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McIlroy to play with Day and Rose in star-studded US Open group

Shane Lowry, Paul Dunne and Graeme McDowell will also be in action at Erin Hills next week.

Rory McIlroy is due to make his competitive return from injury next week.
Rory McIlroy is due to make his competitive return from injury next week.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

RORY McILROY WILL play the opening two rounds of this year’s US Open alongside 2013 champion Justin Rose and world number three Jason Day.

McIlroy, himself a winner of the season’s second Major in 2011, has been out of action with a recurrent rib injury but insists he’ll be fit for next week’s event at Erin Hills, Wisconsin.

The world number two is chasing a first Major crown since the 2014 US PGA Championship and a fourth overall, and he will be playing with two big names next Thursday and Friday in world number 11 Rose of England and Australian star Day.

World number one and reigning champion Dustin Johnson has been grouped with world number six and 2015 champion Jordan Spieth, and 2014 champion Martin Kaymer of Germany.

It will be Johnson’s first Major of the year as he was ruled out of the US Masters in April at the last minute, after sustaining a back injury when falling down the stairs at his Augusta rental accommodation on the eve of the tournament.

Offaly’s Shane Lowry — who finished second to Johnson last year after taking a four-shot lead into the final day at Oakmont — will play alongside US duo Scott Piercy and 2003 champion Jim Furyk.

Graeme McDowell, champion at Pebble Beach seven years ago, will be accompanied by English duo Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher for the first half of the tournament.

Greystones golfer Paul Dunne completes the Irish contingent next week after securing qualification for his first US Open only 10 days ago. Dunne is included in one of Thursday’s earliest groupings, with David Lingmerth of Sweden and China’s Li Haotong.

Some of the other more high-profile pairings include Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm; and Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and US Masters champion Sergio Garcia.

You can see all of the groups for next week here, which includes a tee time for Phil Mickelson, despite the left-hander having already claimed he would skip the one Major event that has thus far eluded him for his daughter’s high school graduation.

It is believed Mickelson is still attending his daughter Amanda’s big day on Thursday morning with the intention of then making the four-hour flight east to the tournament.

However, unless weather delays push the first round back it seems unlikely ‘Lefty’ will be competing despite organisers affording him a late tee-off time.

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Alan Waldron

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