The Latest: Smart Groups for the US Open

SOUTHAMPTON, NY (AP) Latest news at the US Open, the second largest golf championship of the year (all local times):

12:30

The USGA has a history of clever groupings for the US Open, and This year was no exception.

Among the notable ones were Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. All of them are several big champions. They are all among the most popular in golf. They are also the only three players in Shinnecock Hills missing a leg of Grand Slam's career.

Another group is worth mentioning: Andrew "Beef" Johnston plays with Daniel Berger. The other member of her trio is Kevin Chappell, sponsored by Ruth Chris.

12:10

Rory McIlroy played a lot of golf in June. Almost everything was for fun.

He played at the National, Friar's Head and Garden City. Although this was not planned in preparation for the US Open, which starts on Thursday in Shinnecock Hills, it can not hurt as McIlroy strives for its second American title. He won it in 2011.

McIlroy said Wednesday that he played 18 of 19 days, pulling off Saturday to recharge his batteries.

He played with friends from the area when he stayed on Long Island. His accommodations for the US Open are near Shinnecock Hills.

He says, "It's not a bad place to spend a few weeks in the summer."

He was particularly impressed with Friar's Head and National, both of which he had never played. And maybe a few tips on wind and grass.

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