The top three ranked players in the world have been grouped together for the first round of WGC-Cadillac Championship as Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy will be joined by American Jordan Spieth and Australia's Jason Day when play gets under way in Miami on Thursday.
Four-time Major winner and World Number Three McIlroy will be looking to add a third World Golf Championships title to his name this week after victories in the Dell Match Play and Bridgestone Invitational in previous years and the 26 year old will begin that bid in the elevated company of fellow Major champions Spieth and Day at 1132 on Thursday morning.
Only Tiger Woods (18 WGC titles) and Geoff Ogilvy (three WGC wins) have ever won more than two World Golf Championship events so more history could yet be on the cards for the prodigious Holywood native.
Elsewhere, defending champion Dustin Johnson, who also has two WGC wins on his record, will play the first round alongside 2012 victor Justin Rose and Australia’s Adam Scott from 1143 on Thursday, while former European Number One Henrik Stenson gets started at 1238 with World Number Four Bubba Watson and World Number Five Rickie Fowler.
With two wins already banked in the 2016 season, Charl Schwartzel will take on the Blue Monster at Doral with some confidence as the in-form South African tees it up with American Justin Thomas and India’s Anirban Lahiri from 1154, while Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion Danny Willett gets going at 1121 in the company of Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and American Brandt Snedeker.
Looking to win his second WGC in three starts after returning victorious at the Bridgestone Invitational last August, Shane Lowry tees off at 1216 with the American pair of Jimmy Walker and Kevin Na.
Also chasing a place in the record books this week is Scotland’s Russell Knox, who would become just the second player after Tiger Woods to win consecutive WGC events should he hoist the trophy on Sunday evening. The WGC-HSBC Champion gets under way at 1249 with Korea’s Byeong-Hun An and Australian rookie Jordan Zunic.
In another entertaining threeball amongst a stellar draw is the 1249 trio of Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace and 2014 winner Patrick Reed.
World Golf Championships debutant Kristoffer Broberg (one of three WGC rookies in the field with Nathan Holman and Zunic) will get the Cadillac Championship under way at 1110 on Thursday morning, with company from Scott Hend and Argentine Fabian Gomez.