Tiger Woods, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele paired at Masters
Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer 1:06 PM ET3 Minutes Read
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AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods will play the first two rounds of his 25th Masters appearance in a group with Viktor Hovland and Xander Schauffele.
Woods, a five-time Masters champion, will tee off at 10:18 a.m. ET Thursday and 1:24 p.m. ET Friday. Woods, 47, has played just one official event since missing the cut at the 150th Open Championship in St. Andrews in July. He placed 45th at the Genesis Invitational outside Los Angeles in February.
Last year, Woods returned to competitive golf at the Masters. It was his first start in 508 days since he was seriously injured in a car accident in February 2021. He made the cut for the 23rd straight time and finished 47th.
Rory McIlroy, who played a practice round with Woods on Monday, said the 15-time major champion’s ability to endure one of the most grueling outings in golf will probably decide how Woods performs this week.
“He looks good,” McIlroy said Tuesday. “You know, if he didn’t have to walk these hills and have all this, I’d say he’d be one of the favorites. I mean, he’s got all the hits. It’s just that physical limitation of going 72 holes, especially on a golf course as hilly as this. But again, as we all know, we never count Tiger out and he can do incredible things.”
Defending Masters champion Scottie Scheffler will play the first two rounds in another group with Max Homa and Sam Bennett, the 2022 US champion. on friday. Scheffler will try to become the first back-to-back Masters winner since Woods in 2001-02.
Other groups featured on Thursday include Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Cameron Young (10:42 a.m. ET Thursday, 1:48 p.m. ET Friday) and Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau (2 p.m. ET Thursday, 10 :54 ET Friday ).
McIlroy, who finished sole second last year and will attempt to complete the career Grand Slam by winning a green jacket, will play Sam Burns and Tom Kim. They depart at 1:48 PM ET on Thursday and 10:42 AM ET on Friday.
None of the 18 players from the LIV Golf League who were invited to the Masters were included in a separate group on Thursday. Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who skipped the tournament last year after his controversial comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi monarchy’s history of human rights abuses were published, will play Tom Hoge and Si Woo Kim (12:24 p.m. ET Thursday, 9:12 a.m. ET Friday).
Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson, who combined to win the Masters 11 times in 140 appearances, will serve as honorary pallbearers. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7:40 a.m. ET on tee no. 1.