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Tiger & Rocco to Reprise 2008 U.S. Open Duel
Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate will be paired again at the site of their epic duel in the 2008 U.S. Open. Though the stakes won't be quite as high and instead of the South course - the place where Woods won that major championship, the two will be matched in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Also in the group will be Anthony Kim when the $5.8 million PGA Tour event tees off Thursday. The trio will start on the North course's 10th hole at 9:00 a.m.
The field will take turns playing North and South in the first two rounds, with the final 36 holes over the weekend played on South, which was remodeled prior to the 2008 Open by Rees Jones.
In the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods and Mediate were paired together in an 18-hole playoff after both finished regulation deadlocked at 1-under 283. In Monday's extra session, the two were still tied after 18 holes, with Woods sinking a dramatic birdie on the 90th hole to send it into sudden-death.
On the first sudden-death hole, the par-4 seventh, Woods carded a par while Mediate, who was seeking to become the oldest U.S. Open champion at age 45, bogeyed.
Woods's worst finish in 11 PGA Tour events at Torrey Pines is a tie for 10th. In addition to his Open title, he won the erstwhile Buick Invitational six times, including four straight from 2005 through '08. Farmers Group took over as the title sponsor of the PGA Tour event last year after General Motors Co.'s Buick filed for bankruptcy.
Another marquee matchup is Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, who tee off at 10:10 a.m. on South's first hole. Bubba Watson, former British Open champion Stewart Cink and recently appointed 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III are in the group just ahead of them.
Woods is now ranked third in the latest World Golf Rankings, while Mickelson, the 2010 Masters champion, is No. 6. Johnson is No. 16 and Rose 29th.
Also in the field are former major winners Lucas Glover, Cink, Y.E. Yang, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, David Duval, John Daly, Ben Curtis, Angel Cabrera, and Love.
In addition to Kim, Dustin Johnson and Rose, other up-and-comers include Rickie Fowler, Australia's Michael Sim, Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas and Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas, who burst onto the international scene with a thrilling sudden-death victory on Sunday in the Bob Hope Classic.