Thursday, April 8, 2021

Westwood-Johnson, Rahm-McIlroy paired at Masters


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AUGUSTA: Top-ranked defending champion Dustin Johnson will play alongside England’s Lee Westwood and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy will join new father Jon Rahm in the first two rounds of the Masters.

Pairings released on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) by Augusta National also showed reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau alongside 2013 winner Adam Scott of Australia and second-ranked Justin Thomas with Tony Finau and South African Louis Oosthuizen for the first two days.

From left: Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Dustin Johnson. AFP PHOTOS

Johnson will tee off at 10:30 a.m. Thursday with Westwood, a runner-up at Bay Hill and the Players Championship last month at age 47, and 2020 US Amateur winner Tyler Strafaci.

In the next group off the first tee 12 minutes later will come McIlroy, trying to complete a career Grand Slam by capturing the green jacket, along with Spain’s Rahm, whose wife gave birth to their first child last weekend, and sixth-ranked American Xander Schauffele.

Among the latest starters Thursday will be long-hitting DeChambeau, the world number five, and Scott, the only Aussie ever to capture a Masters title, alongside American Max Homa at 1:36 p.m.


The next group, also the penultimate trio of the day, will be Americans Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner and Finau plus Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion at 1:48 p.m.

The final group teeing off at 2 p.m. features last year’s PGA Championship winner, Collin Morikawa, fellow American Jordan Spieth, who won last week’s Texas Open to snap a win drought dating to his 2017 British Open title, and Aussie Cameron Smith, a Masters runner-up last year after becoming the first player to shoot four rounds in the 60s in the same Masters.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry, winner of the most recent British Open in 2019, will play alongside former US Open champion Justin Rose of England and Matt Kuchar at 12:48 p.m. Thursday.

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, England’s Tommy Fleetwood and American Scottie Scheffler will tee off two groups later at 1:12 p.m.

Just behind them are England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, South Korean Im Sung-jae, a 2020 Masters runner-up, and American Patrick Cantlay.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka, coming back less than a month after right knee surgery, goes off at 10:06 a.m. alongside US compatriot and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and Norway’s Viktor Hovland.

Lee Elder, the first Black golfer in Masters history, will hit the first ceremonial tee shot in a one-time tribute moment at 7:45 a.m. followed by Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.



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