Top Brits paired in US Open

The world’s top two golfers, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, will play alongside each other in the opening two rounds of the US Open.

The English pair will also play with Ryder Cup teammate and number three in the world, German Martin Kaymer.

The move to put together the three highest ranked golfers in the world is not an unprecedented one at the US Open, though it has not happened since 2008 when Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott all started their quest for the major together.

Those assessing free bets in golf this year note how Donald moved to the top of the world rankings with a play-off victory over Westwood in the PGA Championship last month, but the former world number one is confident that he is close to ending his long wait for a maiden major title.

Westwood, who has finished third three times and second twice in his last eleven majors, believes that rectifying a couple of things at the right times will land him one of the four major titles that are on offer in golf.

Meanwhile, anyone looking to place a free bet on the same outcome as last year should note that defending champion Graeme McDowell has been placed alongside 2010 Open winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and United States Amateur victor Peter Uihlein.

The Northern Irishman is in defiant mood ahead of his title defence, admitting that his victory at Pebble Beach 12 months ago has given him the confidence to defend the trophy at the Congressional Club in Maryland.

However, McDowell has conceded that the weekend will be a test of all aspects of his game, given the length of the course.

“It’s going to test every aspect of the game, you’ve got to drive it well,” he said.

“By modern standards, Pebble Beach is not the longest golf course but this golf course is long.

“You’ve got to drive it and hit three woods and really position it well off the tee as these greens are really, really difficult.”

Tiger Woods will miss the tournament through injury.

In a statement, the former world number one revealed that a knee sprain and Achilles tendon strain will keep him out of the tournament for the first time since his US Open debut in 1994.

The US Open will get underway later today, with Daehyun Kim, Chez Reavie and Shane Lowry getting things underway at 12 noon local time.

Chad Campbell, Harrison Frazar and Marc Turnesa will also begin proceedings simultaneously, teeing off at the 10th.