Masters 2019: Groupings announced as practice round suspended due to thunderstorms

Masters 2019: Groupings announced as practice round suspended due to thunderstorms

Rory McIlroy will be able to keep a keen eye on the progress of Masters rival Tiger Woods following the draw for the opening two rounds at Augusta National.

Woods will tee off at 11.04am local time (4.04pm Irish time) on Thursday alongside China's Li Haotong and Spain's Jon Rahm, with McIlroy in the following group with last year's runner-up Rickie Fowler and Australian Cameron Smith.

McIlroy needs to win the Masters to complete the career grand slam while Woods - who is one of five members of golf's most elite club - is seeking a first major since the 2008 US Open.

Shane Lowry will play alongside the Canadian Mike Weir and American amateur Kevin O'Connell for the opening round of the Masters. Lowry's will be the third group out at 8.52am (1.52pm Irish time).

Patrick Reed gets his title defence underway at 10.31am (3.31pm Irish time) in the company of Webb Simpson and US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, but 2015 winner Jordan Spieth will have to wait until the final tee time of 2pm (7pm Irish time) to get his campaign underway.

Spieth, who has finished no worse than 11th in his five starts in the Masters, will play alongside England's Paul Casey and three-time major winner Brooks Koepka, who missed out last year due to a wrist injury.

Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Justin Thomas are in the preceding group at 1.49pm (6.49pm Irish time), with Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Day making up another star-studded group 11 minutes earlier.

After honorary starters Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit their ceremonial tee shots on Thursday morning, Andrew Landry will get the tournament proper underway at 8.30am (1.30pm Irish time) alongside Adam Long and Corey Conners.

Conners came through Monday qualifying for last week's Valero Texas Open and then won his first PGA Tour title in San Antonio to secure the final place in the 87-man field.

Today's practice round was suspended due to thunderstorms and a threat of lightning which resulted in the course being evacuated and the public gates closed.

Torrential rain is forecast for Friday's play, while more storms could spoil the final round.

- Press Association

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