A full field of 145 players have descended upon the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for one of the season's biggest events, The Players Championship. Here are some featured groups to keep an eye on during Thursday's first-round action in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (all times EDT; click here for full-field tee times):
8:08 a.m. (10th tee): Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk
Fowler was a runner-up here a year ago on the heels of his win at Quail Hollow, and this week he'll be joined by Furyk, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident who has one of the more consistent track records in this event of any player in the field. Their early-round group will be rounded out by Mahan, who has struggled to find his footing since a runner-up showing at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
8:18 a.m. (10th tee): Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson
McDowell is making his first start since his playoff win at Harbour Town, and he'll be joined Thursday and Friday by a pair of fellow major champions. Bradley finished inside the top 10 in each of his three previous starts in the state of Florida this year, while Watson will look to continue a successful season that has netted six top-20 finishes in nine starts.
8:39 a.m. (10th tee): Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker
The world's newest major champion will make his first appearance since holing the winning putt at Augusta, as Scott will play alongside McIlroy and Stricker for the first two rounds. Coming off a top-10 finish in Charlotte, McIlroy will hope to make the cut at TPC Sawgrass for the first time in his career, while Stricker will continue a light playing schedule that has already yielded a trio of top-five finishes.
1:18 p.m. (1st tee): Ian Poulter, Nick Watney, Lee Westwood
A runner-up here in 2009, Poulter finds himself grouped with a pair of players who both appear to be rounding into form after coming close to victory last week at Quail Hollow. Watney was in the final group Sunday before fading into a tie for 10th, his third consecutive top-15 finish, while Westwood finished tied for fourth, marking the third consecutive event in which he finished inside the top 10.
1:28 p.m. (1st tee): Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose
After letting the trophy slip through his fingers in Charlotte, Mickelson returns to a venue where he won in 2007 and has notched three top-25 finishes since then. He'll be joined in the first two rounds by Simpson, the reigning U.S. Open champion who lost in a playoff at Harbour Town in his last start, and Rose, who has finished inside the top 25 in each of six PGA Tour starts this season.
1:49 p.m. (1st tee): Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker
Making his first start since tying for fourth at Augusta National, Woods will attempt this week to tame one of the few courses that has had his number over the last decade. He'll be joined by Kuchar, the defending champion, and Snedeker, who after returning from a rib injury has yet to regain the consistency that led him to three consecutive top-two finishes earlier this season.