American John Daly, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Vijay Singh of Fiji, three of the 30 European Tour Members in the field for the Masters Tournament, have been drawn together for the first two days at Augusta National.
Singh, the World Number Two and winner of the Green Jacket in 2000, and Harrington, the World Number Seven who has finished second and fourth in the last two events on the US PGA Tour, start among the favourites for the first Major Championship of the 2004 season.
Other groups featuring three European Tour Members include the threeball of reigning Open Champion Ben Curtis of America, New Zealand’s Michael Campbell and Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson, Curtis and Jacobson among the seven European Tour debutants at this year’s Masters Tournament.
Two-time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer, the 2004 European Ryder Cup Team Captain, lines up alongside Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Lian-wei Zhang, the first player from China to compete in the Masters Tournament and a Major Championship.
Thomas Björn will again go head-to-head with World Number One Tiger Woods in the penultimate group at 1.30pm along with US Amateur Championship runner-up Casey Wittenberg. The Ryder Cup Dane won the 2001 Dubai Desert Classic after being paired for all four rounds with Woods.
World Number Three Ernie Els tees off at 12.57 alongside the most recent winner of the Dubai Desert Classic, Mark O’Meara of America, and Australian Robert Allenby while Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke will play with World Number Eight Phil Mickelson of America and Shigeki Maruyama of Japan.
Scotland’s Sandy Lyle, the 1988 Masters Champion gets the ball rolling in the first group out at 8am.