Friday, 19 March 2010

Paul Casey, many people’s tip for European Tour glory in the 2007 Masters Tournament, has been given the plum draw for the first two rounds at Augusta National alongside World Number One Tiger Woods.


Australia’s Aaron Baddeley will make up the three ball which will tee off at 1.52pm local time in Thursday’s first round.


"I don't have his mobile number or anything, but we're good friends and I enjoy his company. I like playing with him," said the Englishman, the 2006 European Tour Golfer of the Year. “Playing with him is a huge compliment to me. It clearly means I am doing something right and I don't see it as a hindrance, not on a stage like this.


"Tiger is a funny guy. I want to beat him as badly as anybody else, but I respect him. He has been very cordial, very nice to me - a gentleman. It's the perfect blend. He's very intense, but he's aware enough of what his playing partners are doing and is courteous to them.


"I like to see great shots and how he handles himself. I try to pick up his intensity and his ability to stay in the present. The first time I played with him [in Dubai three years ago], I spent the first nine holes watching him rather than worrying about what I was doing.


"Now there's 100% effort on what I am doing, but I try to kind of feed off him. If you want to win, you might as well be up close to him and try to sneak a shot or two. We've talked when we've played in the past, but I think in a Major it's slightly different. It's going to be good."


Casey’s fellow countryman Luke Donald is another player in a fascinating group, alongside the 2006 European Tour Number One Padraig Harrington and American Jerry Kelly immediately preceding Casey and Woods at 1.41pm, while Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, the current leader of The European Tour Order of Merit, will line up alongside KJ Choi of Korea and the 2003 champion Mike Weir of Canada at 10.23am.


Defending champion Phil Mickelson will, as is custom, have the US Amateur champion by his side, this year that honour going to Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and they will be joined by European Tour Member Adam Scott, winner of last week’s Shell Houston Open on the US PGA Tour for their 10.56am tee time.


The last European born player to win a Green Jacket was José Maria Olazábal in 1999 and the Spaniard will begin his quest to triumph for the third time at Augusta National in the company of American Charles Howell and England’s Justin Rose at 11.07am.


Of the earlier starters one of the most intriguing three balls sees two time winner Bernhard Langer paired with Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, one of the men he chose a wild card selection for his Ryder Cup Captaincy at Oakland Hills in 2004. American Rich Beem makes up the trio at 9.50am.


Play in the 71st Masters Tournament gets underway at 8.00am with the last tee time at 2.14pm.



First Round Tee Times:


8.00am: Billy Mayfair, Ian Poulter

8.11am: Scott Verplank, Nick O’Hern, Joe Durant

8.22am: Larry Mize, Tim Clark, Troy Matteson

8.33am: Sandy Lyle, Dean Wilson, Bradley Dredge

8.44am: Ben Crenshaw, John Kelly, Davis Love III

8.55am: Chris DiMarco, Kenneth Ferrie, Steve Stricker

9.06am: Gary Player, Julien Guerrier, Vaughn Taylor

9.17am: Arron Oberholser, Niclas Fasth, Zach Johnson

9.28am: Tom Watson, Casey Watabu, Fred Funk

9.39am: Mark O’Meara, Dave Womack, Stuart Appleby

9.50am: Bernhard Langer, Rich Beem, Colin Montgomerie,

10.01am: Chad Campbell, Angel Cabrera, JJ Henry

10.23am: Mike Weir, KJ Choi, Henrik Stenson

10.34am: Fred Couples, Geoff Ogilvy, Ernie Els

10.45am: Sergio Garcia, Bart Bryant, Shingo Katayama

10.56am: Phil Mickelson, Richie Ramsay, Adam Scott

11.07am: Jose Maria Olazabal, Charles Howell III, Justin Rose

11.18am: Stewart Cink, Todd Hamilton

11.29am: Seve Ballesteros, Carl Pettersson, Paul Goydos

11.40am: Ian Woosnam, Tim Herron, Robert Karlsson

11.51am: Jim Furyk, Rod Pampling, Ben Curtis

12.02pm: Ray Floyd, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jeff Sluman

12.13pm: Robert Allenby, Brett Wetterich, Lee Westwood

12.24pm: Shaun Micheel, Jeev Milkha Singh, Ben Crane

12.46pm: Craig Stadler, David Howell, Stephen Ames

12.57pm: Retief Goosen, John Rollins, YE Yang

1.08pm: Michael Campbell, Lucas Glover, Rory Sabbatini

1.19pm: Fuzzy Zoeller, Darren Clarke, Johan Edfors

1.30pm: Mark Calcavecchia, Thomas Bjorn, Tom Pernice Jnr

1.41pm: Padraig Harrington, Jerry Kelly, Luke Donald

1.52pm: Tiger Woods, Paul Casey, Aaron Baddeley

2.03pm: Vijay Singh, Brett Quigley Hideto Tanihara

2.14pm: Trevor Immelman, Camilo Villegas, David Toms



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