2012 US Open Golf: Rory McIlroy Begins Title Defense This Week

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Rory McIlroy attends a Santander Media appearance at Santander Head Quarters on September 22, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Santander)

Is Rory McIlroy the favorite heading into the 2012 US Open?

The 2012 US Open gets underway on Thursday, and as is usually the case, there's plenty of intrigue as we approach the start of the next major golf tournament.

Related: US Open Tee Times And Pairings 2012: Luke Donald Paired With Rory McIlroy And Lee Westwood

Rory McIlroy won the US. Open in 2011 and begins his title defense at 3:29 p.m. CT on Thursday; he'll be paired with Northwestern alum Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.

Here's a look at the television coverage this week:

Round 1 (June 14) TV Coverage:

11:00 a.m. CT - 2:00 p.m. CT (ESPN)
2:00 p.m. CT - 4:00 p.m. CT (NBC)
4:00 p.m. CT - 9:00 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Round 2 (June 15) TV Coverage:

11:00 a.m. CT - 2:00 p.m. CT (ESPN)
2:00 p.m. CT - 4:00 p.m. CT (NBC)
4:00 p.m. CT - 9:00 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Round 3 (June 16) TV Coverage:

3:00 p.m. CT - 9:00 p.m. CT (NBC)

Round 4 (June 17) TV Coverage:

3:00 p.m. CT - 9:00 p.m. CT (NBC)

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more comprehensive coverage of the run up to the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic, visit SB Nation's dedicated golf hub. For local updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago.

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