The PGA Tour remains in Asia for another week, as players shift from Malaysia to China for the WGC-HSBC Champions. Here are some marquee early-round groupings to keep an eye on in Shanghai, as the reigning FedEx Cup champ and Player of the Year both make their first starts of the new season (all times ET):
Knox was a late addition to this field a year ago before taking Sheshan International by storm to record his first career PGA Tour victory. He returns this week to defend his title where he'll play alongside Casey, who like Knox did not represent Europe at the Ryder Cup despite a strong season, with Fowler rounding out the group in his first competitive action since Hazeltine.
Johnson won this event in 2013 and is making his first start since being voted as the Tour's Player of the Year for the 2015-16 season, where he racked up three wins and 15 top-10 finishes. Joining him will be Stenson, who has only made two stroke-play starts since his silver medal at the Olympics as he battled a knee injury. Rounding out the trio is Reed, who struggled during the final round in Malaysia en route to a T-51 finish.
Moore and Thomas have combined to win the last four CIMB Classic titles, with Thomas completing back-to-back victories last week in Kuala Lumpur. Moore finished T-17 last week in his first start of the season. The two Americans will be grouped with Chinese fan favorite Li, who won the European Tour's Volvo China Open earlier this year.
Matsuyama quietly recorded a runner-up finish last week in Malaysia behind Thomas, and is now ranked inside the OWGR top 10 for the first time in his career. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Oosthuizen, who is making his seventh consecutive start in the event, and Koepka who is making his tournament debut after a standout performance at the Ryder Cup.
McIlroy is returning to the PGA Tour for the first time since his dramatic playoff victory at East Lake that netted him the FedEx Cup. Scott logged a solid T-10 finish last week in Malaysia after a strong postseason performance, while Watson returns to a course where he notched a dramatic playoff victory in 2014.