Masters 2013 Tee Times: Pairings and Predictions for Thursday
Excitement is rising for what promises to be one of the all-time great Masters. With giants of the game like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson all in good form and trying to hold off a talented field, Sunday is primed for serious dramatics.
And the journey begins with Round 1 on Thursday.
There are some great pairings on tap for the opening two rounds. We'll discuss those, and I'll offer up some predictions. Below, you can also view the full list of tee times for Round 1.
Round 1 Tee Times
*Tee times via Masters.com. All times ET.
8 a.m.—Sandy Lyle, John Peterson, Nathan Smith
8:11 a.m.—Larry Mize, Brian Gay, Russell Henley
8:22 a.m.—Ian Woosnam, David Lynn, Kevin Na
8:33 a.m.—David Toms, Richard Sterne, Ted Potter Jr.
8:44 a.m.—Tom Watson, Ryan Moore, Kevin Streelman
8:55 a.m.—Robert Garrigus, Carl Pettersson, Tim Clark
9:06 a.m.—Mike Weir, Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk
9:17 a.m.—Brandt Snedeker, Ryo Ishikawa, Justin Rose
9:28 a.m.—Jose Maria Olazabal, Marc Leishman, T.J. Vogel
9:39 a.m.—Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Peter Hanson
9:50 a.m.—Zach Johnson, K.J. Choi, Graeme McDowell
10:12 a.m.—Michael Thompson, John Huh, John Senden
10:23 a.m.—Stewart Cink, Nicolas Colsaerts, Thaworn Wiratchant
10:34 a.m.—Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter, Steven Fox
10:45 a.m.—Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Scott Piercy
10:56 a.m.—Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington
11:07 a.m.—John Merrick, Thorbjorn Olesen, D.A. Points
11:18 a.m.—Craig Stadler, Ben Curtis, Michael Weaver
11:29 a.m.—Mark O'Meara, Martin Laird, Jamie Donaldson
11:40 a.m.—Paul Lawrie, Thomas Bjorn, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
11:51 a.m.—Trevor Immelman, George Coetzee, Alan Dunbar
12:13 p.m.—Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Nick Watney
12:24 p.m.—Ben Crenshaw, Matteo Manassero, Tianlang Guan
12:35 p.m.—Bernhard Langer, Lucas Glover, Henrik Stenson
12:46 p.m.—Vijay Singh, Bo Van Pelt, Y.E. Yang
12:57 p.m.—Angel Cabrera, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott
1:08 p.m.—Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace
1:19 p.m.—Hunter Mahan, Hiroyuki Fujita, Francesco Molinari
1:30 p.m.—Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer
1:41 p.m.—Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Freddie Jacobson
1:52 p.m.—Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas
Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Scott Piercy
Round 1 Tee Time: 10:45 a.m. ET
All eyes will be locked on this group as Scott Piercy goes for his first green jacket. Well, Tiger Woods might garner a little bit of attention as well.
Woods enters the 2013 Masters in his best form since he crashed into a fire hydrant in 2009. He's the overwhelming favorite as his ball-striking, wedge game and putting are all on point.
This gives Woods an excellent shot to claim his fifth green jacket and 15th major.
Meanwhile, former world No. 1 Luke Donald looks for his first major, but he has been in bad form. That begins on the greens, as he is not putting up to his high standards.
Then there is Piercy, who will obviously be an afterthought in this group, but he has a chance to steal the show.
The 34-year-old is the world's No. 38-ranked player, and with good distance and a solid putting stroke, he has the game to make waves at Augusta.
Round 1 Predictions: Woods, 70; Donald, 73; Piercy 71
Woods often times comes out with a decent, but not spectacular, first round in majors. He then makes a big move on Friday and Saturday and closes the door on Sunday. I think he will follow that path this year, with that 70 actually being his highest score of his tournament.
As for Donald, he's going to have to show some sustained improvement before I predict any low scores on his card.
Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace
Round 1 Tee Time: 1:08 p.m. ET
This is going to be an interesting group. Green jacket winner Fred Couples is 53 and has been plagued by a bad back, but he loves Augusta and has worked himself into at least a share of the lead in two of the last three years. So don't be surprised to see him go low on Thursday.
This group also features the supremely talented Dustin Johnson looking for his first major. Johnson has spent most of 2013 looking terrible, but he's been good recently. He enters off of a fourth-place finish at the Houston Open and a 12th-place finish at the Cadillac Championship prior to that.
While Johnson has the length to dominate Augusta, he has not found much success here, as his best finish is a tie for 30th in 2009.
Branden Grace will be looking for his first win on the PGA, let alone his first major. To do that, he will have to reverse his current play as he has missed the cut in his last two events.
Round 1 Predictions: Couples, 69; Johnson, 72; Grace, 75
Couples will once again find a way to work himself on the Masters leaderboard. I expect Johnson to have some brilliant holes, but he'll also get in some trouble around the green and wind up at even par.
Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer
Round 1 Tee Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
Three major champions, including three-time green jacket winner Phil Mickelson, make this an enthralling group.
Mickelson has been in fine form this year, and he looks ready to improve on his third-place finish here last year. He will also have a little trick in his bag, as according to Farrell Evans of ESPN, Phil will be carrying a "Phrankenwood" in place of his driver.
This club is a driver/3-wood hybrid, and it is designed to help keep Phil out of trouble.
Louis Oosthuizen is one miracle shot on a playoff hole from Bubba Watson away from being the defending champion, so we all know he has the game to win. However, Oosthuizen has been up and down this year, and I have a hard time seeing him finding the consistency needed to walk away with the green jacket.
As for Martin Kaymer? Go ahead and write him off. He has only made the cut here once in five tries, and he's been awful this year.
Round 1 Predictions: Mickelson, 66; Oosthuizen, 71; Kaymer, 74
Lefty is going to get off to a great start. He has geared all of his preparation for success at Augusta, and I think he will be the Round 1 leader.
Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Freddie Jacobson
Round 1 Tee Time: 1:41 p.m. ET
Rory McIlroy has the game to win at Augusta, but he hasn't found much success here. His best finish is the 15th he earned after his gut-wrenching collapse from the lead on the back nine of the final round in 2011.
While he has struggled this year, he looked good last week with a second-place finish at the Texas Open.
Keegan Bradley is in good form right now. He has four straight top-10 finishes, and he has the game to succeed at Augusta.
Freddie Jacobson finished 19th here last year with an up-and-down tournament. He started off with a 76 and then followed that up with a 68 the next day. He's been solid this year, and he should be solid in this tournament.
Round 1 Predictions: McIlroy, 69; Bradley, 70; Jacobson, 70
McIlroy will use the confidence gained last week to get off to a good start. However, I see him fading over the weekend as he faces his demons on this course. Bradley will also get off to a solid start, and I expect him to be a factor all tournament.
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