Day grouped with Watson, Kaymer at Bay Hill


ORLANDO, Fla. - Several of the game's biggest names have flocked to Bay Hill Club & Lodge to pay tribute to The King. Here's a look at the marquee, early-round groupings at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, where the defending champ is joined by a pair of fellow major winners (all times EDT):

8:11 a.m. Thursday, 12:56 p.m. Friday: Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose

Stenson has been a perennial contender at this event in recent years, finishing T-8 or better each time since 2013. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Matsuyama, who sits just one spot ahead of him in the latest world rankings, and Rose, who has three top-10 finishes at Bay Hill since 2011, including a runner-up in 2013.

8:23 a.m. Thursday, 1:08 p.m. Friday: Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer

Day is back to defend the title that sparked his torrid run last spring, and he enters after withdrawing from the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this month. His two playing partners know each other well from the playoff they waged at the 2010 PGA Championship. Watson is in search of his first top-20 finish of the season, while Kaymer tied for fourth last month at the Honda Classic.

12:56 p.m. Thursday, 8:11 a.m. Friday: Adam Hadwin, Rickie Fowler, Graeme McDowell

Fresh off his win at the Valspar Championship, Hadwin made the short drive to Bay Hill and now will make his first start as a PGA Tour winner. Joining him will be Fowler, who won the Honda Classic the last time he teed it up in Florida, and McDowell, an Orlando resident and one of five individuals sharing the duties of tournament host this week.

1:08 p.m. Thursday, 8:23 a.m. Friday: Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedeker, Sam Saunders

It's a fitting tribute to have McIlroy, the top-ranked player in this week's field, play the first two rounds alongside Palmer's grandson. Saunders will help kick off the week's festivities with a ceremony on the driving range on Wednesday, while Snedeker will round out the trio after top-15 finishes in two of the last three years at Bay Hill.