Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel will go in search of their first US Open victory in each other's company for the first two rounds at Pinehurst after they were drawn together for the season's second major.
In the absence of the injured Tiger Woods, it is likely this trio will attract the largest following in North Carolina given the fact it contains not just a trio of Masters winners who have collected the green jacket the last four years (Watson has won it twice), but also the relatively new world number one who is competing in his first major since earning that accolade.
The Australian, American and South African will start on Thursday at 1.25pm local time, 17:25 here in the UK, before starting from tenth early on Friday.
Scott and Watson are both in imperious form of late. They both contended for the Memorial Tournament crown a fortnight ago before struggling on the final nine holes to end up in a tie for fourth, while the 33-year-old Scott triumphed at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Texas the week previous in his first start since scaling to the top of the rankings.
He has four wins in his last 17 starts worldwide, making him one of the favourites to collect the US Open title at Pinehurst No.2 next week. Watson, however, will have some say in that. The reigning Masters champion is currently ranked third in the world after two wins on the American circuit so far this year.
19-year-old England sensation Matthew Fitzpatrick, who has admitted he will turn pro after the event, will be rewarded for his US Amateur win by playing with defending champion Justin Rose as well as British Open winner and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson, under investigation from the FBI for alleged insider trading, has finished a runner-up at the event a record six times - and yet it, it is the only major he needs to complete the brilliant achievement of the career Grand Slam.
The three previous US Open winners before Rose - Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Webb Simpson - have also been paired together. McIlroy, victor at the European Tour's lucrative BMW PGA Championship early last month, will start very much a favourite despite failing to win on the PGA Tour since the end of 2012.
It is the first time since 2010 that the top three players in the world have not been grouped together for the opening two days play at Pinehurst as the USGA attempts to counter falling viewer ratings in the absence of Woods.
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