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Defending champ McIlroy grouped with Koepka, Rahm at The Players

Tournament begins Thursday

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rory McIlroy will try to become the first player to repeat as the winner at The Players Championship and now he knows who he’ll play with as he begins his title defense.

The PGA Tour announced eight featured groupings the Tournament, which begins with the first round on Thursday. McIlroy, the world’s top-ranked player, will play with the two golfers ranked directly behind him int he World Golf Rankings, No. 2 John Rahm and No. 3 Brooks Koepka.

Other featured groups include Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose and 2004 champion Adam Scott. 2018 winner Web Simpson will play with 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and 2007 winner Phil Mickelson. 2015 Players Champion Rickie Fowler is grouped with Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Patrick Reed will play with Hidecki Matsuyama and Patrick Cantlay, the No. 6 ranked player in the world.

For fans looking for young talent, the threesome of 20-year-old Matthew Wolff, 23-year-old Collin Morikawa, and 22-year-old Viktor Hovland will play the first two rounds together.


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