The Loop

The must-see Thursday Masters pairings

April 03, 2012

(Don't be surprised if the Masters winner comes out of the 1:53 Thursday pairing. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty.)

The 2012 Masters groupings were released at noon on Tuesday, followed by an announcement that Dustin Johnson had withdrawn due to injury. Here's a quick a look at a few of the more intriguing groupings.

7:40 a.m. Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus... The Black Knight joins the best tournament kickoff in golf.

9:18 a.m. Kyle Stanley, Jason Day, Bill Haas... Major young gun testosterone in play here, with FedExCup champ Haas flying under the radar coming despite winning at Riviera and having a game built for Augusta.

10:13 a.m. Gary Woodland, Henrik Stenson, Alvaro Quiros... Poor Stenson having to play with the two longest hitters in the game. With Dustin Johnson WD's due to injury, inquiring minds will want to know if he was originally in this group.

10:35 a.m. Tiger Woods, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sang-Moon Bae... It's Tiger's group, need you know more?

10:46 a.m. Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari and Nick Watney... The casual fans of the world might be surprised if the winner came out of this group, but serious golfers would not be caught off guard. Okay, Francesco might shock, but he's hot. Don't leave him off your tickets.

12:14 p.m. Kevin Na, Fredrik Jacobson and Ben Crane... Two of the slowest golfers on the planet. And they tee off right behind...the 12:03 open time in the pairings. As if they weren't going to have enough trouble already keeping up.

1:20 p.m. Fred Couples, Darren Clarke and Ryo Ishikawa... The old guys will show the young invitee how it's done. Or the other way around. Anything from 65-80 could come out of this group.

1:42 p.m. Angel Cabrera, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson... It's Rory's group, need you know more?

1:53 p.m. Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Peter Hanson... I believe the winner will come out of this pairing, though this outside post of posts has them teeing off last on Thursday.

-- Geoff Shackelford