Fowler grouped with Rose, Vegas in Rio


Golf's return to the Olympics is now only days away. Here are a few featured groups to keep an eye on during the first two rounds of the 72-hole, stroke-play event this week in Rio (all times ET). Click here for full-field tee times:

8:03 a.m. Thursday, 9:58 a.m. Friday: Matt Kuchar, Danny Willett, Haotong Li

The reigning Masters champ highlights this group, as he is one of only two green jacket recipients in this week's 60-man field. He'll be joined for the first two rounds by Kuchar, a late addition who only last week became aware of the Olympic tournament's actual format, and Li, who played last year on the Tour before breaking through for a win this year at the Volvo China Open.

8:14 a.m. Thursday, 10:09 a.m. Friday: Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Anirban Lahiri

This group will be a mini-reunion of sorts from Whistling Straits, where Kaymer beat Watson in a playoff to win the 2010 PGA Championship. They have each now won two majors and will share a prominent stage in the anchor group Friday during golf's Olympic return. Joining them will be India's Lahiri, who won twice last year on the European Tour.

9:25 a.m. Thursday, 7:25 a.m. Friday: Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Emiliano Grillo

Garcia is one of the two betting favorites to win the gold medal, as his run of four straight top-5 finishes was interrupted last month by a missed cut at Baltusrol. Joining him will be Reed, who earned a spot on the American squad when Dustin Johnson withdrew, and Grillo, the Argentine who won the Open in October in his first start as a PGA Tour member.

9:58 a.m. Thursday, 8:03 a.m. Friday: Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Jhonattan Vegas

Fowler has made the most of his early time in Rio, documenting much of the festivities on social media. Once he gets down to business, though, he'll be joined by a major champ in Rose who rallied for a T-22 finish at the PGA despite making the cut on the number. Rounding out the group will be Venezuela's Vegas, who won the RBC Canadian Open last month.

10:09 a.m. Thursday, 8:14 a.m. Friday: Henrik Stenson, Thongchai Jaidee, Rafael Cabrera-Bello

At No. 5 in the world, Stenson is the highest-ranked player in this week's field. Weeks removed from his stirring win at The Open, the Swede will play the first two rounds in Rio alongside Thailand's Jaidee, who won the Open de France last month on the European Tour, and Spain's Cabrera-Bello whose consistent play this season has him in position to qualify for his first Ryder Cup team.