There are several great star pairings including McIlroy and Rahm, Fowler and Matsuyama.
The Masters 2017 pairings are out for the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, and we have some big-time headliners. All groups start on the first tee at the Masters, and the festivities will get underway at 8 a.m. ET on Thursday morning after Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit the ceremonial tee shot.
Here are the five groups that stood out to me (in order of tee times on Thursday).
1. Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Knox (10:12 a.m.): This thing could swing wildly one way or the other. Fowler shot an 80 last year, but either he or Matsuyama could legitimately win it this time around. It’s a great ball-striking trio.
2. Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Matthew Fitzpatrick (10:34 a.m.): This is an odd mix. Fitzpatrick and Spieth were both top 10 last year, and obviously Spieth has been outrageously good here in the past three years . Kaymer is a non-starter for me on this course, but it’s at least an intriguing trio.
3. Jason Day, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker (10:56 a.m.): Three guys who could win it. Maybe one of the all-time nice guys pairing.
4. Rory McIlroy, Hideto Tanihara, Jon Rahm (1:41 p.m.): Rahm and McIlroy are stratospheric off the tee, and Tanihara just beat Spieth at the WGC-Dell Match Play. It will be interesting to see how the weather and the course affect the afternoon golfers compared to the morning as the wind is supposed to whip on Thursday. This could be the wrong side of the draw for McIlroy.
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) April 4, 2017
5. Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker (2:03 p.m.): This pairing has four major championships between them. Johnson and Watson play a course that’s more like a par 68 or 69, and I think Walker is a sneaky fun pick this week even though he’s battling mono.