CHAMPION ADAM SCOTT will join the most recent major winner, Jason Dufner, and Britain’s Matthew Fitzpatrick for the first two rounds of the 78th Masters in groups.
Scott, who last year became the first Australian to win a green jacket at Augusta National when he captured his first major title, is traditionally joined by the reigning US Amateur champion, who is Fitzpatrick.
This time he will be joined by American Dufner, who won his first major title last August at the PGA Championship by holding off Jim Furyk in the final holes.
The trio will tee off Thursday morning at 2.41pm Irish time with two-time major winner Rory McIlroy of Ireland in the group directly behind them.
McIlroy, a Masters favorite with oddsmakers this week, will be joined at 2:52pm. Thursday by first-time Masters participants Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, both Americans.
The opening round’s last few groups also feature some prime contenders, with Aussie Jason Day joined by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and American Dustin Johnson. Spain’s Sergio Garcia, Britain’s Luke Donald and American Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters winner, are in the next group.
Two groups behind them are Swede Peter Hanson, American Keegan Bradley and Frenchman Victor Dubuisson.
Reigning British Open champion Phil Mickelson, a three-time Masters winner, will join South African Ernie Els and England’s Justin Rose, the reigning US Open champion, in the penultimate group Thursday.
The first father-son duo to play in the same Masters, Craig and Kevin Stadler, will not play together.
Craig, the 1982 Masters winner, will play alongside fellow American Scott Stalling and Germany’s Martin Kaymer in his 38th Masters start while his son Kevin makes his Masters debut alongside John Huh and Welshman Ian Woosnam in Thursday’s second group off the first tee.