Friday 2 December 2016

Woods will have to wait

Published 07/04/2015 | 18:36

Tiger Woods is in the penultimate group for the first round of the Masters (AP)
Tiger Woods is in the penultimate group for the first round of the Masters (AP)
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods faces a lengthy wait before he can begin his bid for a fifth Masters title when the year's first major championship gets under way on Thursday.

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But Rory McIlroy will enjoy an earlier start to his attempt to become the sixth player to complete the career grand slam at Augusta National this week.

Woods has been drawn in the penultimate group for the opening round alongside fellow American Jimmy Walker and Welshman Jamie Donaldson, teeing off at 1:48pm local time.

The 14-time major winner has started just two events in 2015, carding a career-worst 82 to miss the cut in the first and withdrawing through injury after 11 holes of the second, but said he was ready to " compete to win a golf tournament" after 11 holes of practice on Monday.

World number one McIlroy has been drawn alongside three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson and American Ryan Moore at 10:41am, with US Open champion Martin Kaymer in the group behind with Brandt Snedeker and Houston Open winner JB Holmes.

McIlroy and Mickelson were among the players battling for the US PGA title in near-darkness at Valhalla last year, with Mickelson and Rickie Fowler stepping aside on the 18th to allow the final group of McIlroy and Bernd Wiesberger to tee off and beat the fading light.

With 98 players in the field, Charley Hoffman and Brian Harman make up the first group out in the tournament proper at 7:45am, with Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer again acting as honorary starters five minutes earlier, the legendary trio hitting tee shots on the par-four first before retiring to the clubhouse.

England's Danny Willett will begin his Masters debut in the second group at 7:56am alongside 1987 winner Larry Mize and US amateur public links champion Byron Meth.

The final group tees off at 1:59pm and features three players ranked in the top 13 in the world, Australia's Jason Day, Spain's Sergio Garcia and Fowler. Fowler finished in the top five in all four majors last year.

Press Association

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