Cameron Smith has been rewarded for his runner-up finish to Dustin Johnson at the 2020 Masters with a marquee tee time – and high-profile company in Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa – to open the 2021 edition of golf’s first major of the year.
Australia’s lone Masters winner Adam Scott has also been handed a high-profile draw, alongside America’s Bryson DeChambeau.
Smith joins an impressive final group of the opening day with former Masters champion Spieth, fresh from his weekend win at the Texas Open, and US PGA Championship holder Collin Morikawa.
The trio will set out at 2pm on Thursday local time (4am Friday, AEST).
“I’m excited to get underway on Thursday and hopefully build on last year,” Smith, who made history by being the only man in the event’s history to shoot all four rounds in the 60s in last November’s edition, told AAP.
“It’s a good group and we will have an idea of how the course has played over the morning. I can’t wait.”
Scott, the winner in 2013, will get to watch US Open champion DeChambeau’s assault on the course close up as he sets off with the American long bomber and Max Homa at 1.36 pm (3.36am Friday, AEST).
Matt Jones will be the first of five Australians in the field to get underway with his 8.12am (10.12pm Thursday, AEST) time the second slot of the morning.
He will play with former Masters winner Sandy Lyle and South African Dylan Frittelli.
Former world no.1 Jason Day finds himself in a power hitters conglomerate at 9.36am (11.36pm Thursday, AEST) with Americans Cameron Champ and Matthew Wolff.
Marc Leishman joins Frenchman Victor Perez and American Jason Kokrak on the first tee at 12.12pm (2.12am Friday, AEST).
Defending champion Dustin Johnson will partner England’s Lee Westwood and US Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci at 10.30am (12.30am Friday, AEST).
Rory McIlroy’s quest for the career grand slam begins at 10.42am (12.42 am Friday, AEST) with new father Jon Rahm and four-time PGA tour winner Xander Schauffele.
Americans Michael Thompson and Hudson Swafford will lead the tournament at 8am (10pm Thursday, AEST) after the traditional ceremonial tee shots from African-American trailblazer Lee Elder and former Masters champions Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
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