Featured groupings unveiled for THE PLAYERS Championship
Woods grouped with defending champion Simpson and Reed
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA TOUR released today four of the featured groupings for Thursday-Friday at THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Thursday and Friday starting times for the featured groupings will be announced when the official groupings and starting times for the entire 144-player field are finalized on Monday afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. ET.
To watch the featured groupings on Thursday-Friday, fans in the United States can tune into the Golf Channel telecast (1-7 p.m. EST) and stream PGA TOUR LIVE via subscription on NBC Sports Gold (www.nbcsports.com/pgatour) and Amazon Prime Video Channels (amazon.com/video/pgatourlive).
Tiger Woods – Webb Simpson – Patrick Reed
- NOTABLE: A two-time PLAYERS winner, Woods will play the first two rounds with the defending champions of THE PLAYERS (Simpson) and the Masters (Reed).
- Woods has wins at TPC Sawgrass both in March (2001) and May (2013). With a win in 2019, he would tie Jack Nicklaus for the most victories in the history of THE PLAYERS (3).
- En route to victory in 2018, Simpson recorded a second-round 63 to tie the course record at TPC Sawgrass.
- Reed has six PGA TOUR wins including a major (2018 Masters), a World Golf Championships event (2014 WGC-Mexico Championship) and a FedExCup Playoffs event (2016 THE NORTHERN TRUST).
Rickie Fowler – Brooks Koepka – Jordan Spieth
- NOTABLE: Koepka, reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year, is grouped with past PLAYERS champion Fowler (2015) and 2015 FedExCup champion Spieth.
- Fowler remains the only player since the TOUR began tracking hole-by-hole scores in 1983 to win by playing the final four holes in 5-under or better. His playoff in 2015 against Kevin Kisner and Sergio Garcia is the last time the tournament went to extra holes.
- In the final round in 2018, Koepka holed out for albatross at the par-5 16th en route to a final-round, course-record-tying 63 at TPC Sawgrass. Koepka went on to finish T11, his best result in four starts at THE PLAYERS.
- Spieth, an 11-time PGA TOUR winner, finished T4 in his PLAYERS debut in 2014.
Matt Kuchar – Phil Mickelson – Rory McIlroy
- NOTABLE: McIlroy, the winner of the 2016 FedExCup, will play the opening rounds with two former winners of THE PLAYERS: Kuchar (2012) and Mickelson (2007).
- Kuchar enters the week ranked No. 2 in the FedExCup standings with two wins on the season (Mayakoba Golf Classic, Sony Open in Hawaii).
- Mickelson will make his 26th start at THE PLAYERS, which he won in 2007. He collected his 44th career PGA TOUR win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
- Making his 10th start at TPC Sawgrass, McIlroy is looking to join Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods as the only players to win THE PLAYERS, the FedExCup, a major and a World Golf Championships event
Justin Rose – Xander Schauffele – Justin Thomas
- NOTABLE: The last two FedExCup winners (Thomas, Rose) are grouped with current FedExCup leader Schauffele.
- Rose, who became the first Englishman (since 1945) to win 10 PGA TOUR titles with his win at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, earned his best result at TPC Sawgrass in 2014 (T4).
- Schauffele has two victories this season (WGC-HSBC Champions, Sentry Tournament of Champions). In his lone PLAYERS start, he finished T2 in 2018 after a final-round 67.
- Nine-time PGA TOUR winner Thomas has less than two months remaining to join Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Jack Nicklaus as one of the four youngest players in PGA TOUR history to reach 10 career wins. Woods holds the record (23 years, 6 months, 4 days), while Nicklaus is the third-youngest to reach 10 wins (24 years, 3 months, 12 days). Thomas, who will be 25 years, 10 months, 18 days on Sunday could pass Rory McIlroy who was 25 years, 11 months, 29 day win he crossed the 10-win threshold.
About THE PLAYERS Championship
THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the best field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Optum®, Morgan Stanley and Grant Thornton LLP are the exclusive Proud Partners of THE PLAYERS. Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled $100 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $9 million generated in 2018. For more on THE PLAYERS, visit THEPLAYERS.com. For more on the surrounding areas, visit floridashistoriccoast.com or visitjacksonville.com.
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About Morgan Stanley
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About Grant Thornton LLP
Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.8 billion and operates 58 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.
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