Adam Scott will play the U.S. Open's first two rounds with the world's top two players. (Hallowell/Getty Images)
Adam Scott is the No. 3 player in the world and the reigning Masters champion. He may be overshadowed by the other two players in his group for the U.S .Open's first two rounds, though. That's because he's playing with the two players ahead of him in the Official World Golf Ranking: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
"I think this year obviously there's a lot of focus on Tiger and Rory," Scott said Monday from Merion Golf Club. Can Woods resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' major championships record? Can McIlroy find the form he showed in 2012, and win a major for the third consecutive season?
Woods is seeking his first major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open. He's won four times in eight PGA TOUR starts in 2013, but is coming off a T-65, including a third-round 79, at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. McIlroy has yet to win after claiming four PGA TOUR titles in 2012, including the PGA Championship and two FedExCup Playoffs events. He has finished in the top-10 in four of nine TOUR starts this year, but only seriously contended at the Valero Texas Open.
Scott tied for 15th at last year's U.S. Open, his best showing in that championship. He's played alongside Nos. 1 and 2 in this event before. He also was No. 3 in the OWGR when the USGA first grouped the world's top three players at the U.S. Open, in 2008 at Torrey Pines. His played alongside Woods and Phil Mickelson for the first two rounds that year.
"I think anyone would have felt like the third wheel that week," Scott said. "The hype was enormous around that pairing. I've never seen that many people on a Thursday morning on the first tee. It was a great atmosphere. ... I don't know that I'm probably also the third wheel this week. That's why I'm No. 3 in the world, otherwise I wouldn't be the third wheel, I guess."