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(Reuters) - Martin Kaymer will start his title defense bright and early on Thursday at Chambers Bay when he plays the first round of the U.S. Open with world number one Rory McIlroy.
German Kaymer and British Open champion McIlroy will tee off at the picturesque links style layout adjacent to Puget Sound at 8.28 am Pacific Time (1528GMT). South Korean Yang Gunn, the U.S. amateur champion, will complete what has become a traditional grouping.
They will be immediately preceded at 8.17am local time (1517GMT) by a glamor threesome of American Dustin Johnson, Australian Adam Scott and Spaniard Sergio Garcia.
The morning limelight will also focus on Phil Mickelson, a six-time U.S. Open runner-up who needs a victory to complete the career Grand Slam.
He will be off at 7.33 am (1433GMT) in the company of two-time major champions Bubba Watson and Angel Cabrera.
Afternoon attention will focus on back-to-back groupings. At 2.17 pm (2117GMT), Masters champion Jordan Spieth will tee off with Australian Jason Day and 2013 champion Justin Rose of England.
Eleven minutes later, Tiger Woods will embark on his quest for a 15th major title, accompanied by Players Championship winner Rickie Fowler and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
Woods has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, and will be coming off a career-worst round of 85 at the Memorial last Saturday.
A field of 156 players will play the first two rounds.
The cut will be made after 36 holes, with the low 60 scores and ties advancing to the final two rounds.
Chambers Bay in Washington State, hosting its first U.S. Open, will be set up between 7200 and 7600 yards and will play to a par of 70.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina. Editing by Steve Keating.