Ishikawa paired with Watson

NEW YORK (Kyodo) Teenager Ryo Ishikawa will play the first two rounds of next week’s U.S. Open with veteran Tom Watson and fellow young gun Rory McIlroy, according to groupings released by the U.S. Golf Association.

Ishikawa, who earned his seventh career title in Japan in early May with a 12-under 58 — the lowest 18-hole score on a sanctioned tour — in the final round of The Crowns, will be making his U.S. Open debut at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

The 60-year-old Watson has won the U.S. Open once, in 1982 at Pebble Beach. Last year, he came close to winning the British Open, only to lose in a playoff to Stewart Cink.

Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, one of the most promising players in the world, picked up his first career U.S. PGA Tour win at the Quail Hollow Championship in May.

Yuta Ikeda, Toru Taniguchi, Hiroyuki Fujita, Azuma Yano and Kaname Yokoo will also compete in the June 17-20 major.