Smith in marquee grouping for US Open

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There will be nowhere to hide when Cameron Smith launches his latest bid for a cherished first golf major at the US Open in Massachusetts.

Australia's big hope has been pitched into the marquee grouping for the opening two rounds, teeing off with world No.1 Scottie Scheffler and two-time champion Brooks Koepka.

It's a good thing then that Smith has taken a liking to Brookline Country Club.

"I love it, mate," the world No.6 said when asked what he made of the famous layout outside of Boston.

"It's probably my favourite US Open venue I think I've been to.

"Lots of options off the tee. Have to strike the ball well, obviously. Yeah, just a real typical old-school course. I love it."

Acutely aware that finding the fairways and avoiding the penal rough will be crucial, Smith has spent the past week working on his driving with coach Grant Field.

But after tying for third at the Masters and sharing 13th place at last month's PGA Championship, Smith is confident even the slightest improvement off the tee will be enough to give himself opportunities at the year's third major with his precision iron play and putting.

"It's a bit of a second-shot course," he said.

"Obviously, off the tee it's very demanding as well but I feel like you need to be smart into the greens.

"There's plenty of pitch to the greens. You need to be underneath the hole, especially as the week goes on.

"I think the greens will get firmer and faster.

"I just think the control into the greens is going to be really important."

Smith spearheads a seven-strong Australian assault, with veterans Adam Scott and Marc Leishman joined by Lucas Herbert and Open debutants Min Woo Lee, Jed Morgan and little-known qualifier Todd Sinnott, a major championship rookie from Melbourne.

AUSSIE AEST TEE TIMES FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF THE US OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP (*denotes starting on 10th hole):

Thursday

9.29pm: Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth (USA), Max Homa

*10.02pm: Marc Leishman, Keegan Bradley (USA), Aaron Wise (USA)

Friday

*2.30am: Jed Morgan, Taylor Montgomery (USA), Sean Crocker (USA)

3.25am: Min Woo Lee, Seamus Power (IRE), Joohyung Kim (KOR)

*3.25am: Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka (USA), Scottie Scheffler (USA)

*4.09am: Lucas Herbert, Harris English (USA), Jason Kokrak (USA)

4.31am: Todd Sinnott, Jonas Blixt (SWE), Bo Hoag (USA)

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