Woods tees off Thursday with Kuchar, Choi
AUGUSTA, Ga. – In a flashback to simpler times, Tiger Woods will play with Matt Kuchar and K.J. Choi at 1:42 pm. in the second-to-last pairing of the day.
The late tee time will allow much of Woods’ round to be televised. ESPN’s broadcast runs from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The threesome will tee off at 10:35 a.m. Friday.
Kuchar and Woods were paired together in 1998, when Kuchar was the reigning U.S. Amateur champ and Woods was coming off his 12-shot romp at the previous year’s Masters.
Kuchar became famous that day for his wide grin and solid game. He shot a first-round 72 (to Woods’ 71) and was tied for 11th. Kuchar went on to finish 21st and earn low-amateur honors. He tied for 14th at the U.S. Open later that year. Twelve years later, he is making only his second Masters appearance as a pro. Despite his two PGA Tour victories, he’s still probably best remembered for his accomplishments in ’98.
“It’s exciting,” Kuchar said about the pairing with Woods. “I’ve got a front row seat for a pretty memorable time in history. The Tiger Woods story is fascinating. It’s kind of captivated the world. It’ll be nice to get him back in the golf arena. What he’s done off the course, it’s none of my business. It doesn’t concern me.
“I get a front-row seat to see how he’s doing.”
Kuchar is 1-1 against Woods when they are paired together. Choi is 2-10 against Woods when they are paired together, but still looking forward to playing with Woods.
“I’m so happy,” said Choi, who found out while he was playing the 14th hole in his Tuesday practice round. “It’s good. It’s good news. ... I hope on the golf course everybody supports the player.”
Woods is seeking his first Masters victory since 2005. He has finished T-3, T-2, second and T-6 since.
- 8:56 a.m.: A solid international threesome of Germany’s Martin Kaymer, Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy and England’s Luke Donald.
- 9:29 a.m.: In a battle of long bombers, Dustin Johnson and Alvaro Quiros will be paired with Oliver Wilson.
- 9:40 a.m.: Matteo Manassero will become the youngest competitor in Masters history when he tees off with Lee Westwood and Mike Weir.
- 10:13 a.m.: Pre-tournament favorite Ernie Els will play with last week’s winner, Anthony Kim, and Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa.
- 10:35 a.m.: Tiger’s long-time rival, Phil Mickelson, will play with the Tiger slayer, Y.E. Yang. Robert Allenby is the third member of the group.
- 12:36 p.m.: It’ll be old and new in this pairing when Kenny Perry, 49, plays with twentysomethings Camilo Villegas and Rory McIlroy.
- 12:58 p.m.: Fan favorites Fred Couples and Sergio Garcia will play with Shingo Katayama, who finished fourth at last year’s Masters.
- 1:09 p.m.: A former U.S. Amateur champ (Edoardo Molinari) and a former U.S. Open champ (Lucas Glover) will be paired with a solid dark-horse in Miguel Angel Jimenez, who tied for eighth at the ’08 Masters and won in Dubai earlier this year.
- 1:20 p.m.: Stewart Cink and Padraig Harrington, winners of the past three British Opens, will play with young South African sensation Charl Schwartzel, who followed his runner-up at the WGC-CA with a third-place finish last week at the Shell Houston Open.
- 1:31 p.m.: Pre-tournament favorites Ian Poulter and Steve Stricker, who’ve both won PGA Tour events this year, are paired with Japan’s Yuta Ikeda, one of the least-known players in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
- 1:53 p.m.: The final group of the day will be Adam Scott, David Duval and Ricky Barnes.