Featured Groups: Masters Tournament
April 03, 2018
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy will play with former Masters champion Adam Scott for the first two rounds at Augusta National. (Chris Condon/PGATOUR.COM)
Masters tee times have been released, yet another sign that the year’s first major is fast approaching.
The anticipation has been high for this year’s Masters and several star-studded threesomes should only increase the excitement.
Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus will begin the tournament with their honorary tee shots at 8:15 a.m. ET Thursday morning. Play will begin 15 minutes later.
Here’s a look at some of the groups that will garner a fair share of the patrons’ interest. (All times ET)
Austin Cook (19), Ted Potter Jr. (25), Wesley Bryan (150): The first threesome to follow the honorary starters features two players making their Masters debut, including an Augusta resident. Both Cook and Potter won this season, while Bryan picked up his first PGA TOUR win the week after last year’s Masters, at the RBC Heritage. Potter will be making his second Masters start.
Tee times: 8:30 a.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 11:15 a.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Hideki Matsuyama (80), Patton Kizzire (2), Paul Casey (10): Matsuyama has finished no worse than 11th in the past three Masters. He’s playing with two of this season’s top performers. Kizzire, who’s making his Masters debut, has won twice this season. Casey won the Valspar Championship for his first PGA TOUR victory since 2009.
Tee times: 10:09 a.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 1:05 p.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Tiger Woods (44), Marc Leishman (24), Tommy Fleetwood (66): Woods will be playing his first competitive round at Augusta National since the final round in 2015, when he played with Rory McIlroy in Sunday’s third-to-last group. Leishman finished fourth in the 2013 Masters, while Fleetwood will be making just his second Masters appearance. The English star shot 78-74 last year at Augusta National.
Tee times: 10:42 a.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 1:27 p.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Sergio Garcia (76), Justin Thomas (1), Doc Redman (NR): The U.S. Amateur champion traditionally plays with the defending champion and the reigning U.S. Open champion. This group was changed slightly because of Brooks Koepka’s injury. Justin Thomas, winner of last year’s FedExCup and PGA Championship, will round out this traditional threesome. Thomas also leads this season’s standings thanks to his two victories.
Tee times: 10:53 a.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 1:38 p.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Bubba Watson (4), Henrik Stenson (45), Jason Day (11): Watson, a two-time Masters champion, also has two wins this season, at the Genesis Open and World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. Day also won in 2018, at the Farmers Insurance Open. Day’s caddie will wear No. 2, signifying that Day was the first player to register for this year’s tournament (the defending champion always receives No. 1). Stenson, the 2013 FedExCup champ, was the final player to register. His caddie will wear No. 87.
Tee times: 11:04 a.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 1:49 p.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Phil Mickelson (3), Rickie Fowler (31), Matt Kuchar (63): A three-time Masters champion is paired with two players seeking their first majors. Fowler started the final round of last year’s Masters just one stroke off the lead but fired a final-round 76. He’s finished in the top 12 of three of the past four Masters. Kuchar, who suffered a heartbreaking loss to Jordan Spieth at last year’s Open Championship, has four top-10 finishes in the past six Masters, including a T4 last year.
Tee times: 1:27 p.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 10:31 a.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Adam Scott (122), Rory McIlroy (29), Jon Rahm (6): McIlroy’s quest for the Career Grand Slam will take center stage in this group. Scott is the 2013 Masters champion, while Rahm is seeking his first major after a strong start to the season, including his second PGA TOUR victory (at the CareerBuilder Challenge).
Tee times: 1:38 p.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 10:42 a.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Jordan Spieth (36), Alex Noren (14), Louis Oosthuizen (113): In four Masters starts, Spieth has a win and two runners-up. Despite struggling with his putting this season, Spieth is coming off a third-place finish at last week’s Houston Open. Noren has experienced success in his first season as a PGA TOUR member, posting three top-3 finishes in his last seven starts. He’s finished outside the top 25 just once in that span. Oosthuizen was runner-up here in 2012, losing a playoff to Watson’s legendary wedge shot. In addition to his victory at the 2010 Open Championship, Oosthuizen has been runner-up in all four majors and THE PLAYERS Championship.
Tee times: 1:49 p.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 10:53 a.m. off No. 1 on Friday.
Justin Rose (7), Dustin Johnson (5), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (34): Thursday’s final tee time includes last year’s runner-up and the World No. 1 who missed the 2017 Masters after a freak injury. Rose has five top-10s in 12 Masters, and has been runner-up in two of the past three years. Johnson finished fourth and sixth in the 2015 and 2016 Masters before withdrawing from last year’s tournament after falling in his Augusta rental home. Cabrera-Bello recently finished third at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.
Tee times: 2:00 p.m. off No. 1 on Thursday; 11:04 a.m. off No. 1 on Friday.