McIlroy drawn alongside young Americans in Masters field

Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy has been drawn in with two young American stars in the first round of the US Masters on Thursday.

Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy has been drawn in with two young American stars in the first round of the US Masters on Thursday.

McIlroy, who is in the group behind defending champion Adam Scott, will tee-off at 10:52am along with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

Defending champion Adam Scott, looking to become only the fourth player to win back-to-back Masters titles, tees off at 10:41am alongside US PGA champion Jason Dufner and England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, the 19-year-old US Amateur champion from Sheffield.

Scott is one of three players who can overtake the absent Tiger Woods as world number one this week and the other two – his fellow Australian Jason Day and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson – have been drawn together with American Dustin Johnson at 1:04pm.

US Open champion Justin Rose faces a lengthy wait after he was drawn in the penultimate group for the opening round at Augusta National, teeing off at 1:48pm local time with Open champion Phil Mickelson and four-time major winner Ernie Els.

Fellow Englishman Lee Westwood has to wait another 11 minutes before he can get his 64th campaign for a first major title up and running, the 40-year-old in the last group out along with American pair Harris English and Russell Henley.

British amateur champion Garrick Porteous partners former Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal – the last European winner at Augusta in 1999 – and 2009 US Open champion Lucas Glover at 11:36am.

Craig and Kevin Stadler are the first father and son to play in the same Masters but have been kept apart in the draw, former champion Craig out with Scott Stallings and Martin Kaymer and Kevin paired with 1991 champion Ian Woosnam and John Huh.

With 97 players in the field, former Open champion Stewart Cink and South African Tim Clark make up the first group out in the tournament proper at 7:45am, with Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer again acting as honorary starters five minutes earlier, the legendary trio hitting tee shots on the par-four first before retiring to the clubhouse.

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