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PGA Championship 2016: Tee Times and Predictions for Top Opening-Round Pairings

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2016

Henrik Stenson will try to make it two majors in a row at the PGA Championship.
Henrik Stenson will try to make it two majors in a row at the PGA Championship.Andrew Redington/Getty Images

If the last major of the golf season is able to come close to matching what happened in the British Open earlier this month, fans will witness a tournament to remember.

Henrik Stenson fired a remarkable 63 in the final round to win that tournament, and that score came three days after Phil Mickelson opened it with a 63 of his own.

The golfers may not be able to go quite so low on the long and difficult Baltusrol Golf Club track in what is likely to be a hot and rainy Springfield, New Jersey, but that doesn't mean the PGA Championship will not be a competitive and exciting tournament.

One of the traditions of the PGA Championship is to group the winners of the first three major championships together on Thursday and Friday. Masters champion Danny Willett, U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and Stenson will tee off at 1:45 p.m. ET Thursday and again at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

While Willett deserves credit for rallying on the back nine of the final round to wrest the title away and earn the green jacket, it seems the majority of the golf world will focus on Johnson and Stenson.

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Johnson overcame a history of failure in the majors with a memorable run at Oakmont, Pennsylvania, while the Swede may have been even more impressive when he got the best of Phil Mickelson at Royal Troon, Scotland.

Thursday predictions: Willett, 72; Johnson, 69; Stenson, 70 

  

Mickelson was razor sharp at the British Open, and he probably would have earned the title if Stenson had not been so relentless. He comes into the PGA playing sensational golf, and he should have a legitimate opportunity to win.

Lefty will play with defending champion Jason Day and Rory McIlroy on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and Friday at 1:45 p.m.

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Mickelson won the PGA Championship the last time the tournament was played at Baltusrol in 2005, and McIlroy already has two PGA Championship crowns to his credit.

Day and McIlroy have played together 15 times, according to Mike McAllister of PGATour.com. In their last meeting, Day defeated the Northern Irishman one up in the WGC-Dell Match Play Championships.

Thursday predictions: Mickelson, 71; Day, 70; McIlroy 69

  

Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson will play together at 1:25 p.m. Thursday and 8:10 a.m. Friday.

Garcia has been fighting his entire career to win a major championship, but he has yet to break through. However, the Spaniard and his fans should be encouraged because he finished tied for fifth in the U.S. Open and the British Open. 

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - JULY 25: Bubba Watson of the United States reacts during a practice round prior to the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club on July 25, 2016 in Springfield, New Jersey.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Spieth has struggled in the majors since blowing up in the final round of the Masters this year, and he did not play at his best at the U.S. Open or the British (tied for 37th and tied for 30th, respectively).

Watson has a wonderful opportunity to show off his power on a course that favors long hitters. The Florida native gains an average of 1.039 shots off the tee, and that ranks third in that category, according to PGATour.com.

Thursday predictions: Spieth, 73; Garcia, 72; Watson, 70

PGA Tee Times Thursday
Starting from No. 1
Time (ET)Golfers
7:00 a.m.Bradley DredgePatton KizzireMark R. Brown
7:10 a.m.K.J. ChoiTommy SharpJon Curran
7:20 a.m.Jason KokrakJosh SpeightKristoffer Broberg
7:30 a.m.Darren ClarkeDavid LingmerthDaniel Berger
7:40 a.m.Aaron BaddeleyKevin KisnerEmiliano Grillo
7:50 a.m.John DalyPadraig HarringtonVijay Singh
8:00 a.m.Victor DubuissonMarcus FraserJames Hahn
8:10 a.m.Soren KjeldsenBilly Hurley IIIScott Hend
8:20 a.m.Matt JonesRikard KarlbergCharley Hoffman
8:30 a.m.Robert StrebVaughn TaylorKevin Na
8:40 a.m.Gregory BourdyJonas BlixtRoberto Castro
8:50 a.m.Ross FisherOmar UrestiGreg Chalmers
9:00 a.m.Zac BlairSmylie KaufmanDavid Muttitt
12:15 p.m.Joe SummerhaysYuta IkedaColt Knost
12:25 p.m.Ryan PalmerRob LabritzGary Woodland
12:35 p.m.Alex NorenAndrew JohnstonScott Piercy
12:45 p.m.Shaun MicheelRich Berberian Jr.Rocco Mediate
12:55 p.m.Tony FinauAnirban LahiriMatthew Fitzpatrick
1:05 p.m.Danny LeeMatt KucharLuke Donald
1:15 p.m.Jim FurykFrancesco MolinariShane Lowry
1:25 p.m.Bubba WatsonJordan SpiethSergio Garcia
1:35 p.m.Patrick ReedJustin RoseCharl Schwartzel
1:45 p.m.Danny WillettDustin JohnsonHenrik Stenson
1:55 p.m.Graeme McDowellWebb SimpsonLouis Oosthuizen
2:05 p.m.Ryan MooreKyle ReifersBen Polland
2:15 p.m.Mitch LoweKevin StreelmanYoung-han Song
Tee No. 10
Time (ET)Golfers
7:00 a.m.Chris KirkWyatt Worthington IIFreddie Jacobson
7:10 a.m.Jason BohnJeunghun WangBrian Gaffney
7:20 a.m.J.B. HolmesBrian StuardHideki Matsuyama
7:30 a.m.Tyrrell HattonHarris EnglishMatt Dobyns
7:40 a.m.Rickie FowlerErnie ElsZach Johnson
7:50 a.m.Chris WoodBranden GraceJimmy Walker
8:00 a.m.Justin ThomasRafa Cabrera-BelloPaul Casey
8:10 a.m.Brooks KoepkaBrandt SnedekerLee Westwood
8:20 a.m.Adam ScottKeegan BradleyJamie Donaldson
8:30 a.m.Jason DayPhil MickelsonRory McIlroy
8:40 a.m.Bill HaasJamie LovemarkAndy Sullivan
8:50 a.m.George CoetzeeRod PerryHideto Tanihara
9:00 a.m.Nicolas ColsaertsJhonattan VegasRyan Helminen
12:15 p.m.Michael BlockHarold Varner IIIJohn Senden
12:25 p.m.Kevin ChappellJohan KokTroy Merritt
12:35 p.m.Russell HenleyFabian GomezThorbjorn Olesen
12:45 p.m.Rich BeemSteve StrickerDavid Toms
12:55 p.m.James MorrisonBrandon StoneBilly Horschel
1:05 p.m.Jason DufnerMartin KaymerY.E. Yang
1:15 p.m.Bernd WiesbergerByeong Hun AnBrendan Steele
1:25 p.m.Marc LeishmanKiradech AphibarnratRussell Knox
1:35 p.m.Jim HermanThongchai JaideeThomas Pieters
1:45 p.m.Soomin LeeWilliam McGirtJoost Luiten
1:55 p.m.Brad LardonK.T. KimPeter Malnati
2:05 p.m.Daniel SummerhaysCameron TringaleRick Schuller
2:15 p.m.Brad OttBryce MolderSi Woo Kim
PGA.com
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