Players Championship Notebook; Check out Golf Tournament Tee Times

By Smits, Garry | The Florida Times Union, May 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

Players Championship Notebook; Check out Golf Tournament Tee Times


Smits, Garry, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Garry Smits

The starting times and groupings for the first two rounds of The Players Championship were released on Monday for the first time in tournament history.

The marquee groups on the afternoon of the first round on Thursday will be in succession, starting at 1:17 p.m. off the first tee with Zach Johnson of St. Simons Island, Ga., Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose. In the next group at 1:28 p.m. are all past FedEx Cup champions, Jim Furyk of Ponte Vedra Beach, Brandt Snedeker and Henrik Stenson.

The next two groups are all past Players champions: Phil Mickelson (2007), Sergio Garcia (2008) and K.J. Choi (2011) at 1:38 p.m. and defending champion Martin Kaymer, Tiger Woods, (2001 and 2013) and Adam Scott (2004) at 1:49 p.m.

The marquee groups in the second round on Friday also start at 1:17 p.m. off the first tee with Jimmy Walker, Hideki Matsuyama and Ernie Els. They are followed by Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler at 1:28 p.m.; Bubba Watson, defending FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel of Ponte Vedra Beach and 2012 Players champion Matt Kuchar of St. Simons at 1:38 p.m.; and world No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy, Masters champion Jordan Spieth and Jason Day at 1:49 p.m.

Usually, the tee times have been released around noon on Tuesday, which is still the norm. The PGA Tour released it essentially, because it could, since the field was finalized once Tommy Fleetwood, the last player who could have gotten into The Players by winning the World Golf Championship Dell Match Play, was eliminated on Saturday.

30 FOR 30

Barring withdrawals, the Players field will have all the top 30 members of the current FedEx Cup standings, 49 of the top 50 on the World Golf Rankings, all 23 PGA Tour winners during the 2014-15 season, 27 major champions and nine past Players champions.

The field is represented by 24 countries, the most in Players history.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

The Birdies for the Brave Patriots' Outpost will open for the week at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Located in a large tent between the 16th and the 18th fairways, the Outpost will offer active duty, reservists and retirees, and their dependents, a place to go to for complimentary food and beverages and activities.

The tent has expanded in size - a good thing, because more than 14,000 military members of their families were hosted last year.

The Military Appreciation Day activities will culminate with ceremonies at 6 p.m., followed by a concert by Big & Rich.

A WALK WITH HURLEY

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Myers was the only fan to watch a practice round on Monday at the Stadium Course - unless someone sneaked in.

But Myers had permission on a day closed to the public, courtesy of the PGA Tour and Billy Hurley III, a Naval Academy graduate and the only active Tour player to have served in the military.

Myers walked nine holes with Hurley through a gift from James Amerault, a retired vice admiral who lives in Atlantic Beach and has been a marshal at the 14th hole for the past 10 years. Armerault is the board chairman for the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation, which assists wounded, ill or injured members of the Navy and the Coast Guard, and their families.

Amerault bought the day with Hurley at a silent auction earlier this year held in conjunction with a charity tournament at the TPC Sawgrass for True Blue Navy, an organization that assists area sailors and their families. He and Hurley arranged for Myers to travel from Washington, D.C., to Ponte Vedra Beach to walk in the fairway along with Hurley on the front nine.

"I only play a little bit of golf," Myers said. "It's amazing to watch how good [Hurley] is."

MUSIC, ANIMALS CAP TOUR WIVES FUNCTION

You're not hearing things on Tuesday morning if you detect animal sounds mixed with music coming from the general direction of the Stadium Village. …

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