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Masters tee times: Rory McIlroy to play with Rickie Fowler in group behind Tiger Woods

Rory McIlroy begins his practice for the Masters on Monday.
Rory McIlroy begins his practice for the Masters on Monday.

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 BST) 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. 

Rory will begin his second round at 2pm (7pm BST) on Friday with Woods again up in front, teeing off at 1.49pm (6.49pm BST).

World number three McIlroy is hoping to become only the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam, following in the footsteps of Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen.

He'll have to put to bed some Augusta demons after he admitted the pressure to win the last of the four majors has made The Masters the most difficult tournament to win in recent seasons.

"I've probably put myself under too much pressure the last couple of years to try and win the Masters," he told the BBC.

"It's hard enough to win any week out here on tour so I'm only making it harder and more difficult to win the one I really want to - so I'm trying not to think about it too much."

Patrick Reed gets his title defence under way at 10.31am local time (3.31pm BST) 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 local time 7pmBST) to get his campaign under way. 

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 1349 local time (1849BST), 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 under way at 8.30am local time (1.30pm BST) 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.

When does UK TV coverage begin?

Sky Sports and the BBC will once again share coverage of the event. The opening two rounds will be broadcast on Sky Sports Golf, coverage beginning at 7pm on both days and running through to 12.30am. On Saturday, BBC coverage tees off at 7.30pm while Sky Sports begin at 7pm. On Sunday, BBC begin at 6.30pm with Sky again getting in first at 6pm.

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