2014 PGA Championship

PGA Championship 2014: Tee Times and Projections for This Year's Top Pairings

LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 06:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his 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
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2014

The final major of the year is here, and eager fans ready to tune in from the opening tee time Thursday are going to be treated to some very tasty pairings. Some of the top stars in the game have been grouped together, so the first two days should be a lot of fun.

Below, we'll take a look at those pairings, the tee times and break down how some of the top groups might fare. 

Fore!

 

Pairings

PGA Championship Tee Times
TeeSessionTimes (ET) and Pairs
1Morning7:30 a.m.: Brian Norman, Russell Knox, Roberto Castro
1Morning7:40 a.m.: Charles Howell III, Aaron Krueger, Joost Luiten
1Morning7:50 a.m.: Billy Horschel, Jamie Broce, George Coetzee
1Morning8 a.m.: Brian Stuard, Brendon Todd, Pablo Larrazabal
1Morning8:10 a.m.: Freddie Jacobson, Nick Watney, Brendon de Jonge
1Morning8:20 a.m.: Matt Every, Ross Fisher, Kevin Chappell
1Morning8:30 a.m.: John Daly, Mark Brooks, Rich Beem
1Morning8:40 a.m.: K.J. Choi, Thongchai Jaidee, Brian Harman
1Morning8:50 a.m.: Thomas Bjorn, Kevin Stadler, Harris English
1Morning9 a.m.: Jamie Donaldson, Hyung-Sung Kim, Stewart Cink
1Morning9:10 a.m.: Stephen Gallacher, Jason Kokrak, Rafael Cabrera-Bello
1Morning9:20 a.m.: Kevin Streelman, Ryan Helminen, Edoardo Molinari
1Morning9:30 a.m.: Brendan Steele, Rob Corcoran, Pat Perez
10Morning7:35 a.m.: Robert Karlsson, Frank Esposito, Koumei Oda
10Morning7:45 a.m.: Hideki Matsuyama, Angel Cabrera, Patrick Reed
10Morning7:55 a.m.: Shaun Micheel, Colin Montgomerie, Michael Block
10Morning8:05 a.m.: Rickie Fowler, Victor Dubuisson, Ernie Els
10Morning8:15 a.m.: Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood
10Morning8:25 a.m.: Jimmy Walker, Ian Poulter, Jason Day
10Morning8:35 a.m.: Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods
10Morning8:45 a.m.: Graeme McDowell, Brandt Snedeker, Brooks Koepka
10Morning8:55 a.m.: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Charl Schwartzel, Jim Furyk
10Morning9:05 a.m.: Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Rose
10Morning9:15 a.m.: Marc Leishman, Boo Weekley, Bernd Wiesberger
10Morning9:25 a.m.: Russell Henley, David McNabb, Marc Warren
10Morning9:35 a.m.: Mikko Ilonen, Jerry Smith, George McNeill
1Afternoon12:45 p.m.: Ryo Ishikawa, Matt Pesta, Rory Sabbatini
1Afternoon12:55 p.m.: Scott Stallings, Eric Williamson, Matteo Manassero
1Afternoon1:05 p.m.: Jonas Blixt, Webb Simpson, Erik Compton
1Afternoon1:15 p.m.: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Graham DeLaet, Gary Woodland
1Afternoon1:25 p.m.: Sergio Garcia, Steve Stricker, Tom Watson
1Afternoon1:35 p.m.: Kenny Perry, Ryan Moore, Henrik Stenson
1Afternoon1:45 p.m.: Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy
1Afternoon1:55 p.m.: Jason Dufner, Y.E. Yang, Keegan Bradley
1Afternoon2:05 p.m.: Luke Donald, J.B. Holmes, Francesco Molinari
1Afternoon2:15 p.m.: Zach Johnson, Darren Clarke, Richard Sterne
1Afternoon2:25 p.m.: Tim Clark, Paul Casey, Kevin Na
1Afternoon2:35 p.m.: Steven Bowditch, Rod Perry, Ben Crane
1Afternoon2:45 p.m.: David Hronek, Chris Stroud, Jason Bohn
10Afternoon12:40 p.m.: Shane Lowry, Bob Sowards, Ryan Palmer
10Afternoon12:50 p.m.: Charley Hoffman, Dustin Volk, Scott Brown
10Afternoon1 p.m.: Alexander Levy, Stuart Deane, David Hearn
10Afternoon1:10 p.m.: Davis Tentis, Fabrizio Zanotti, Danny Willett
10Afternoon1:20 p.m.: Anirban Lahiri, Bill Haas, John Senden
10Afternoon1:30 p.m.: Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, David Toms
10Afternoon1:40 p.m.: Cameron Tringale, Scott Piercy, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
10Afternoon1:50 p.m.: Branden Grace, Hunter Mahan, Thorbjorn Olesen
10Afternoon2 p.m.: Chris Kirk, Matt Jones, Seung-Yul Noh
10Afternoon2:10 p.m.: Jerry Kelly, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideto Tanihara
10Afternoon2:20 p.m.: Will MacKenzie, Steve Schneiter, Chesson Hadley
10Afternoon2:30 p.m.: Johan Kok, Ben Martin, Chris Wood
10Afternoon2:40 p.m.: Daniel Summerhays, Jim McGovern, Geoff Ogilvy
ESPN

 

Analysis

LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 06:  Adam Scott of Australia watches a 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 David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

The first trio worth really scrutinizing Thursday is Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott and Lee Westwood. Scott comes into the PGA Championship on fire, having finished in the top 10 in his past five tournaments and eight times overall this year.

Spieth, meanwhile, had a rough July. After finishing seventh at the John Deere Classic, he managed only a 36th- and 49th-place finish at his next two tournaments. He remains one of the most potential-laden golfers in the game today, but it's hard to see him cracking the top 10 in this tournament, unlike Scott. 

About 20 minutes later, Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods will tee off. Well, maybe Woods will tee off—that remains up in the air. He did show up to take a practice round Wednesday, per SportsCenter on Twitter:

"Tiger Watch" is underway. It's hard to imagine what Woods can get out of playing with a faulty back, but it appears he's going to at least take every opportunity to see if he can fight through the injury he suffered at the Bridgestone Invitational. 

Mickelson, meanwhile, is trying to fight through what most kindly could be described as a disappointing season. Mickelson doesn't so much as have a top-10 finish yet this year. It's hard to see him ending that trend at Valhalla.

Another group to keep an eye on is that of Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose. Rose in particular is a real threat to win this tournament, with his seven top-10 finishes this season and win at the Quicken Loans National. Matt Kuchar is a threat to finish in the top 10 as well, something he's done an impressive 10 times this year.

The group of Sergio Garcia, Steve Stricker and Tom Watson should be a fun watch, even if Garcia has a habit of tantalizing for a few rounds before dropping off. Still, who would be against him breaking through at Valhalla? 

And Watson, well, he's a legend. 

LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 06:  Tom Watson of the United States is interviewed during a press conference prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 6, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Twenty minutes later, one of the premier groups of the tournament will get underway, as Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy tee off. No, this course doesn't seem to suit Watson, so a top-10 finish seems unlikely, but he's always an entertaining watch. 

Kaymer has two wins, including the U.S. Open, so he's certainly a threat, but all eyes will really be on Rory McIlroy, who has won two tournaments in a row, including the Open Championship. So good is McIlroy that golf legend Jack Nicklaus openly praised him to Bob Harig of ESPN:

I think Rory is an unbelievable talent. I love his swing, I love his rhythm, I love his moxie. He's got a little swagger there, it's a little bit cocky but not offensive. I like that. I like the self-confidence in a young man. He's got an unbelievable amount of speed in his golf swing, he obviously hits the ball a heck of a long way. And he hits in there consistently and how he controls it. 

It depends on what he feels his priorities are, and that's his call. I think Rory has an opportunity to win 15 or 20 majors or whatever he wants to do if he wants to keep playing. But you just don't know what the guy's priorities are going to be in life 10 years from now.

If you needed any indication as to why McIlroy should be the favorite in this tournament, you just got it. When a golfing icon like Nicklaus heaps such high praise on a player, you listen and take notes. The McIlroy Era appears to have indeed begun.

Of course, not everyone agrees McIlroy will win this tournament. Matt Willis of ESPN, for example, studied trends and statistics of past winners to determine the most likely winner this year. His conclusion: Patrick Reed will reign supreme. 

That would almost assuredly get him on the Ryder Cup team, but it's hard to see anybody beating McIlroy right now, with the most likely contenders to do so being Scott and Rose. 

Still, at the majors, you just never know. A mysterious contender could emerge from the shadows. Woods could be trolling us all with his back issues. Lefty could rediscover his mojo

It's all up in the air. And it's all terribly exciting.

 

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