McIlroy to play with Donald and Westwood
Rory McIlroy has been paired with English duo Luke Donald and Lee Westwood for the first two rounds of the US Open.
The 23-year-old is the defending champion at the year's second major after his sensational performance at Congressional 12 months ago. The Northern Irishman broke several records en route to an eight-shot victory in 2011 to land his maiden major and all eyes will be on the youngster when he tees it up at San Francisco's Olympic Club next Thursday. His form has dipped in recent weeks and three consecutive missed cuts prompted the Holywood-born star to play in this week's St Jude Classic. He carded a two-under-par 68 in Memphis to sit two shots off the lead after the first round as he looks to bounce back to form ahead of next week's showpiece event. McIlroy and Donald have been involved in their own private battle for top spot in the rankings this year, with the pair trading the number one ranking on a number of occasions. But Donald's victory in the BMW PGA Championship means he is now at the summit and the in-form player heading into the California event with McIlroy one place behind. Westwood has enjoyed another solid season to date and the world number three led after the second round of the Nordea Masters in Sweden. All three players are good friends and Ryder Cup team-mates and will be able to feed of each other as they try to make the weekend and challenge for the title. Tiger Woods is favourite to win after his victory at the Memorial Tournament and he will play with old adversary Phil Mickelson on Thursday and Friday, with Masters champion Bubba Watson completing the stellar three-ball.