Harrington, Woods paired for USPGA

Padraig Harrington will launch the defence of his USPGA title next week alongside Tiger Woods and Rich Beem.

Padraig Harrington will launch the defence of his USPGA Championship title next week alongside Tiger Woods and Rich Beem.
The PGA of America on Friday released its pairings for the first and second rounds of the final major of the year, which begins next Thursday at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota.
Ireland’s Harrington, who shot back-to-back rounds of 66 at Oakland Hills near Detroit 12 months ago to become the first European since 1930 to lift the Wanamaker Trophy, will play with four-time USPGA champion Woods, the world number one and Beem, who won the 2002 PGA title when the championship was last played at Hazeltine.
Harrington, the halfway leader at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio, will tee off at 1435 BST next Thursday and 1945 for the second round on Friday.
World number two Phil Mickelson, the 2005 winner, has been paired with fellow former champions Paul Azinger and David Toms.
As is traditional, the winners of the first three majors of the year are paired together, placing Masters winner Angel Cabrera, US Open champion Lucas Glover and Open winner Stewart Cink in the same group.
World number three Paul Casey, whose participation is in doubt following his withdrawal from this week’s WGC-Bridgestone in Ohio due to a rib injury, has been paired with American Nick Watney and Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita, while Dubai Desert Classic winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland will make his US PGA debut in a group with former US Open champion Jim Furyk and Germany’s Martin Kaymer.
Another notable group sees Ernie Els of South Africa and American Steve Stricker playing alongside England’s Ian Poulter, while Lee Westwood, third at the Open, has been paired with Fred Couples and Spain’s Alvaro Quiros.
European 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, who will play an American major for the first time this year, has been paired with Argentina’s Andres Romero and American Kevin Sutherland.