PGA Championship 2014 Tee Times: Pairings and Predictions for Thursday

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIAugust 6, 2014

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. The tournament is set to begin on Thursday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The year's final major is upon us, and the professionals are teeing off in waves Thursday from Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, for the 2014 PGA Championship. 

Those who are hungry to make 2014 their breakout season and the already decorated stars who hope to add to their career accomplishments will put their best foot forward in the Bluegrass State.

The tournament will use split tees to accommodate the large field. The pairings and tee times have been announced for the first round, per Golfweek.


Morning wave off the No. 1 tee (all times ET):

Tee Time
7:30 a.mRoberto CastroRussell KnoxBrian Norman
7:40 a.mCharles Howell IIIAaron KruegerJoost Luiten
7:50 a.mJamie BroceGeorge CoetzeeBilly Horschel
8 a.mPablo LarrazabalBrian StuardBrendon Todd
8:10 a.mFredrik JacobsonNick WatneyBrendon de Jonge
8:20 a.mKevin ChappellMatt EveryRoss Fisher
8:30 a.mRich BeemMark BrooksJohn Daly
8:40 a.mK.J. ChoiBrian HarmanThongchai Jaidee
8:50 a.mThomas BjornHarris EnglishKevin Stadler
9 a.mStewart CinkJamie DonaldsonHyung-Sung Kim
9:10 a.mRafael Cabrera-BelloStephen GallacherJason Kokrak
9:20 a.mRyan HelminenEdoardo MolinariKevin Streelman
9:30 a.mRob CorcoranPat PerezBrendan Steele

Morning wave off the No. 10:

Tee TimePlayers
7:35 a.mFrank EspositoRobert KarlssonKoumei Oda
7:45 a.mAngel CabreraHideki MatsuyamaPatrick Reed
7:55 a.mMichael BlockShaun MicheelColin Montgomerie
8:05 a.mVictor DubuissonErnie ElsRickie Fowler
8:15 a.mAdam ScottJordan SpiethLee Westwood
8:25 a.mJason DayIan PoulterJimmy Walker
8:35 a.mPadraig HarringtonPhil MickelsonTiger Woods
8:45 a.mBrooks KoepkaGraeme McDowellBrandt Snedeker
8:55 a.mJim FurykMiguel Angel JimenezCharl Schwartzel
9:05 a.mMatt KucharLouis OosthuizenJustin Rose
9:15 a.mMarc LeishmanBoo WeekleyBernd Wiesberger
9:25 a.mRussell HenleyDavid McNabbMarc Warren
9:35 a.mMikko IlonenGeorge McNeillJerry Smith

Afternoon wave off the No. 1:

Tee TimePlayers
12:45 a.mRyo IshikawaMatt PestaRory Sabbatini
12:55 a.mMatteo ManasseroScott StallingsEric Williamson
1:05 a.mJonas BlixtErik ComptonWebb Simpson
1:15 a.mGraham DeLaetGonzalo Fernandez-CastanoGary Woodland
1:25 a.mSergio GarciaSteve StrickerTom Watson
1:35 a.mRyan MooreKenny PerryHenrik Stenson
1:45 a.mMartin KaymerRory McIlroyBubba Watson
1:55 a.mKeegan BradleyJason DufnerY.E. Yang
2:05 a.mLuke DonaldJ.B. HolmesFrancesco Molinari
2:15 a.mDarren ClarkeZach JohnsonRichard Sterne
2:25 a.mPaul CaseyTim ClarkKevin Na
2:35 a.mSteven BowditchBen CraneRod Perry
2:45 a.mJason BohnDavid HronekChris Stroud

Afternoon wave off the No. 10:

Tee TimePlayers
12:40 p.mShane LowryRyan PalmerBob Sowards
12:50 p.mScott BrownCharley HoffmanDustin Volk
1 p.mStuart DeaneDavid HearnAlexander Levy
1:10 p.mDave TentisDanny WillettFabrizio Zanotti
1:20 p.mBill HaasAnirban LahiriJohn Senden
1:30 p.mDavis Love IIIVijay SinghDavid Toms
1:40 p.mKiradech AphibarnratScott PiercyCameron Tringale
1:50 p.mBranden GraceHunter MahanThorbjorn Olesen
2 p.mMatt JonesChris KirkSeung-yul Noh
2:10 p.mTommy FleetwoodJerry KellyHideto Tanihara
2:20 p.mChesson HadleyWill MacKenzieSteve Schneiter
2:30 p.mJohan KokBen MartinChris Wood
2:40 p.mJim McGovernGeoff OgilvyDaniel Summerhays


First-Round Predictions for Most Compelling Pairings

Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood

Phil Long/Associated Press

This group is highlighted by Scott, the 34-year-old Australian who just surrendered the world No. 1 ranking to Rory McIlroy last week.

Despite the partial demotion in the rankings, 2014 has been a good year for Scott. He has two wins and six top-five finishes. He hasn't captured a major this year after winning the Masters in 2013, but his consistency has solidified him as one of the truly elite players in the world.

Scott has had some nice showings in previous PGA Championships, including the 2006 tournament, which is the last time it was played at Valhalla.

Scott finished tied for third place that year. If he can win this year, he could regain the No. 1 spot in the world and have back-to-back years with a major championship.

On Thursdays at majors this year, Scott has been a mixed bag. He's had some good beginnings, like the four-under-par 68 he shot at The Open Championship, and some not-so-great starts, like the three-over-par 73 he produced at the U.S. Open.

Scott sounds confident heading into the tournament despite the recent inconsistencies. Per Jennie Rees of The Courier-Journal, Scott said, "I've been playing my best golf, generally, the last couple of months. If I can fall into rhythm this week, I'm really looking forward to it."

Because of the familiarity with the course, and because he played well last week at the Bridgestone Invitational, Scott is on pace to compete on Thursday.

Thursday Prediction: two-under


Mark Duncan/Associated Press

Jordan Spieth is looking to round out his second year on the PGA Tour in style. The attention being given to the 21-year-old Texan has waned a bit, but that could create the perfect scenario for Spieth to be a factor in Kentucky.

He hasn't looked strong recently, having finished no higher than 36th in each of his last two tournaments. Spieth is mentally tough, though, and not likely to get too down on himself.

He'll do well on Thursday but may not find himself among the early leaders.

Thursday Prediction: even


Phil Long/Associated Press

Lee Westwood is a big name, but he has never produced a win at a major. He's a long shot to break through at 41 years old.

His performance on Thursday will expose him as a non-factor in the tournament. 

Thursday's Prediction: three-over


Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods

Mark Duncan/Associated Press

This group is all about Tiger Woods as usual. The golf world is still waiting to hear if Woods will indeed play in the tournament after injuring himself and withdrawing from the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.

Woods has asked for and been granted an extension to register while he readies himself for a run at his 15th major championship, per Nick Masuda of Golfweek, via Fox Sports.

Woods has battled injuries all year and struggled to regain his elite form.

Still, when his name appears in pairings, he becomes the focus of the entire tournament. If Woods does play and wins at Valhalla—as he did in 2006—it would be one of the best victories of his career considering the circumstances.

Heading toward his 39th birthday in December, Woods' quest to equal Jack Nicklaus' record for most major championships is becoming tougher to see as a realistic goal. A victory in Kentucky would surely help his cause.

As much as one might want to root for Woods to shine, given his current physical state, it's difficult to see him playing too well on Thursday.

Thursday's Prediction: one-over


LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 05:  Phil Mickelson of the United States signs his autograph for fans during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Ge
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tiger's most consistent rival, Phil Mickelson, hasn't had the best season himself. Not only has Mickelson not managed to win a tournament this year, he hasn't even had a top-10 finish.

That's noteworthy for the 44-year-old Hall of Famer. Fortunately for Mickelson, he does have some momentum coming into the tournament. 

A final-round 62 at the Bridgestone Invitational ended what was otherwise a bad performance on a positive note. Gary D'Amato of the Journal Sentinel asks, "Is it possible for a golfer to turn around a mediocre season with one good round?"

Mickelson and his fans sure hope so.

Don't expect Lefty to come out the gates playing the way he played on Sunday in Akron. As great as Mickelson can and has been in his career, inconsistency has been his Achilles' heel all year.

He'll play well, but he won't run away from the field. 

Thursday's Prediction: one-under


LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 05:  Padraig Harrington of Ireland reacts to a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

At this point, Padraig Harrington is just a recognizable name who doesn't have a realistic shot at beating any of the world's best golfers. 

His heyday was in 2007 and 2008. In the latter year, he won both the British Open and the PGA Championship, but he won't be a factor this time around. He's missed almost as many cuts as he's made this year. There's no reason to believe he'll be strong on Thursday.

Thursday's Prediction: four-over


Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy

LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 06:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 6, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

It's Rory McIlroy's world right now. The rest of the players are just living in it. Having recently claimed the No. 1 spot in the world rankings with two straight wins, including a dominant triumph at The Open Championship, McIlroy is unquestionably the best player in the world right now.

The 25-year-old is the odds-on favorite to win, per Vegas Insider, which lists him as an 11-2 favorite. Perhaps the most impressive thing about McIlroy's recent play is that he has stared down the types of pressure situations that had caused him to crumble in the past.

At the Bridgestone Invitational, he turned back a determined Sergio Garcia in the tournament's final round. The old Rory might have gone into a shell and imploded. 

McIlroy now has the swagger and confidence that Woods used to carry. He is on one of those runs that should carry over for the next few tournaments he plays.

Thursday's Prediction: four-under


AKRON, OH - AUGUST 03:  Bubba Watson hits off the fourth tee during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 3, 2014 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

For whatever reason, Bubba Watson brings his best to the Masters, and he looks more ordinary in the other majors. He did finish second at the PGA Championship in 2010, but most of his other performances in majors outside of Augusta, Georgia, have been lackluster. 

For that reason, don't expect Watson to come out firing on all cylinders in Kentucky on Thursday.

Thursday's Prediction: three-over


LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 05: Martin Kaymer of Germany smiles during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Kaymer is the least popular of this threesome, but don't take him lightly. He's already won the Players Championship and the U.S. Open this year.

When he's on his game, Kaymer can compete with anyone on the tour. He hasn't played well since his win at Pinehurst, but that doesn't mean he won't get off to a strong start in Kentucky.

Expect him to rise to the occasion and be in the hunt after the first round.

Thursday's Prediction: three-under


    Murray Holds 1-Stroke Lead After 1st Round at Valero Open

    Golf logo

    Murray Holds 1-Stroke Lead After 1st Round at Valero Open

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Here's What Tiger Has in Store for His First Public Course

    Golf logo

    Here's What Tiger Has in Store for His First Public Course

    Report: Charles Schwab to Sponsor Colonial Event

    Golf logo

    Report: Charles Schwab to Sponsor Colonial Event

    Golf Channel
    via Golf Channel

    Fire Damages National Golf Links of America Clubhouse

    Golf logo

    Fire Damages National Golf Links of America Clubhouse

    Joel Beall
    via Golf Digest