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US Open Golf Tournament 2011: Pairings, Tee Times, TV Schedule

Golf's 2011 major championship season began with a bang, as South African Charl Schwartzel birdied the last four holes to earn the cherished green jacket of Augusta National. On Thursday, the second of the four major championships, the US Open, will commence from Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD. and it promises to bring as much drama as The Masters.

Traditionally, the US Open is considered the most challenging major of them all (and that's one of many reasons why it's my favorite). The United States Golf Association and its executives go out of their way to make the course, which this year will play as the second-longest in history, as close to unfair as (morally) acceptable.

The rough is always long and impossible to hit from, the greens are as fast as any all year and the weekend pin placements are usually very challenging. The USGA wants its tournament to be the greatest challenge for a golfer as the winning score usually hovers around even par -- last year, Graeme McDowell won at 1-under.

The US Open always falls on the perfect weekend, Father Day, and comes at a great time during the sports year -- right after the NBA/NHL Finals, and during a lull in the MLB season.

Lucky for you, if you can't watch the event you can at least keep up-to-date with the SB Nation New York's storystream. Below is the US Open television schedule during the four-day event, including Thursday/Friday tee times of Phil Mickelson and the world's best golfers.

Thursday's Round 1 schedule:

  • ESPN coverage, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • NBC coverage, 3 - 5 p.m.
  • ESPN coverage, 5 - 7 p.m.

The first groups will tee off at 7 a.m. and will feature: Dae-Hyun Kim (Korea), Chez Reavie (USA) and Shane Lowry (Ireland) beginning on hole No. 1, while Chad Campbell (USA), Harrison Frazar (USA) and Marcel Turnesa (USA) starting on No. 10. Mickelson's tee time is at 1:35 p.m., and his playing partners will be young guns Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) and Dustin Johnson (USA), who begin on the 10th tee. Defending champion, McDowell (Northern Ireland), begins at 7:55 a.m., and his partners are: Peter Uihlein (USA) and Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), who start on No. 10. Luke Donald (England and ranked the world's No. 1 golfer), Lee Westwood (England, No. 2), and Martin Kaymer (Germany, No. 3), will tee off on hole No. 10 at 8:06 a.m. Erie Els, who was the winner of the '97 US Open, which was the last time the event was held at Congressional, will tee off at 8:10 a.m. Els will be playing with fan favorites Davis Love III and Jim Furyk, who will start on hole No. 1.

For compete US Open round-one pairings and tee times click here.

Friday's Round 2 schedule:

  • ESPN coverage, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • NBC coverage, 3 - 5 p.m.
  • ESPN coverage, 5 - 7 p.m.

Batting leadoff on Friday will be the groups of Alexandre Rucha (Brazil), Andres Gonzales (USA) and Bubba Dickerson (USA), who will begin on No. 1; and Ty Tryon (USA), Maarten Lafeber (Netherlands) and Scott Barr (USA), who will start on No. 10. Mickelson's group begins on hole No. 1 at 7:55 a.m., while Donald, Westwood and Kaymer begin on No. 1 at 1:46 p.m. McDowell's group begins on No. 10 at 1:35 p.m., while Els, Love III and Furyk start on No. 10 at 1:57 p.m.

For complete US Open round-two pairings-tee times click here.

For more information on the US Open check out SB Nation's golf blog Waggle Room,SB Nation DC's US Open storystream and SB Nation's pro golf hub.