ARDMORE- Masters champion Adam Scott expects high energy and intensity playing alongside world number one Tiger Woods and second-ranked Rory McIlroy in the first two rounds of the US Open.
Scott won his first major title two months ago at Augusta National and forever shattered the notion of an Australian jinx about winning the Masters, taking the green jacket in a playoff triumph over Argentina's Angel Cabrera. Now Scott takes his place in the primary trio with McIlroy, who won the 2011 US Open and last year's PGA Championship, and 14-time major champion Woods, who has won four times this year but has not won a major since the 2008 US Open. "It will be a fun week, absolutely -- some energy and electricity, playing with him at any time, there always is," Scott said of Woods. "And given the hype around this grouping and being a major... it's going to be an intense couple of days," he said. "But essentially that's what we're playing for. That's a pairing you would hope for on Sunday." "At some point, if you're playing well and winning a tournament, you're going to have to try and beat him."
 And that's what you want to be out here for. That's why you spend the hours and test yourself. And I'm looking forward to that Thursday and Friday." When competition begins at Merion Golf Club, Scott will have some insight into Woods as well from caddie Steve Williams, who began carrying the Aussie's bags after he was dropped by Woods, who now has Joe LaCava at his side.
Scott has prior experience with star pairings. This year at Torrey Pines he joined Woods and Phil Mickelson in a feature group for the first two days. "I think anyone would have felt like the third wheel that week. The hype was enormous around that pairing," Scott said. "It was an experience that I'll never forget. I've never seen that many people on a Thursday morning on the first tee. It was a great atmosphere.
"This year obviously there's a lot of focus on Tiger and Rory. I know what to expect out there. I'm probably also the third wheel this week as well." But Scott said he feels a boost in confidence coming into a major for the first time as a major champion. "I do feel a lot better coming here," Scott said. "It's a good feeling to come here to know that I've achieved that. I've got my first major. And my sights are definitely set on trying to win more. But it is a nice feeling.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel playing for the first time in a major after having won, to see if there's less pressure or if I'm going to put more pressure on myself. I don't really know." It was another Australian, David Graham, who won the most recent US Open staged at Merion back in 1981. "I'd like to see him," Scott said. "It would be nice to bump into him and absolutely hear what he has to say about his memories of winning here."
The course, known for using red wicker baskets atop flagsticks, has a history that includes Ben Hogan's emotional 1950 US Open victory, as well as Lee Trevino's 1971 US Open playoff triumph over Jack Nicklaus. But heavy rains Monday indicated the course would play soft, failing to produce the test players and organizers had intended. "It's just all very disappointing with the weather, but hopefully we can get a bit lucky and it can dry out," Scott said. "It's nice to come to these places that have played such a big part in golf's history because we don't get to do it that much."