McIlroy grouped with Fowler, Matsuyama at Quail

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The defending champ this week at the Wells Fargo Championship will play the first two rounds alongside a former nemesis. Here are a few of the early-round groupings to keep an eye on this week as a star-studded field gets set to tackle the "Green Mile" at Quail Hollow Golf Club (all times ET):

7:50 a.m. Thursday, 1:10 p.m. Friday: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama

McIlroy earned his first PGA Tour win here in 2010, and last year he won by a whopping seven shots. In between, though, Fowler got the better of him in a memorable playoff in 2012 that served as Fowler's first victory. They'll play together this week and will be joined by Matsuyama, who beat Fowler in a playoff earlier this year at TPC Scottsdale.


8 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday: Brian Stuard, Jim Furyk, Patrick Reed

Stuard became the Tour's latest breakthrough winner Monday in a playoff in New Orleans, and he'll put his newfound status to the test this week in Charlotte. He'll be joined by Furyk, who is making his first competitive start since the BMW Championship in September, and Reed, who was a runner-up in San Antonio two weeks ago.


1:10 p.m. Thursday, 7:50 a.m. Friday: J.B. Holmes, Webb Simpson, Phil Mickelson

While Simpson and Mickelson both have had plenty of success at Quail Hollow, Holmes is the only one of this trio who has actually won the event, having done so in 2014. Mickelson has cracked the top-5 six different times here without lifting the trophy, while Simpson is a Charlotte-area resident who finished T-2 last year.


1:20 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. Friday: Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Bill Haas

Scott is making his first start since the Masters, and just his second appearance at this event since 2010. He'll be joined by Rose, who enters off a rare missed cut in defense of his title at Zurich, and Haas, a North Carolina native who has a pair of top-5 finishes at this event (2006, 2011).