McIlroy grouped with Ryder teammates at BMW PGA


Rory McIlroy will begin his title defense at the BMW PGA Championship alongside Ryder Cup teammates Jamie Donaldson and Martin Kaymer. The trio will go out at 3:35 a.m. ET (8:35 a.m. local time) Thursday at Wentworth Golf Club in Viginia Waters, England.

They are slated to go out at 8 a.m. ET in Friday’s second round. Golf Channel will air all four rounds of the event, beginning at 5 a.m. ET Thursday.

Here are some other notable groups over the first two rounds (all times Eastern, with everyone off the first tee):

3:15 a.m./7:40 a.m.: Ernie Els, Victor Dubuisson, Andy Sullivan

Els is a seven-time winner on the West Course, but he’s never captured this event. All of Els’ victories here came at the World Match Play Championship. He also redesigned the course, which has been met with considerable criticism over recent years.

7:50 a.m./3:25 a.m.: Brooks Koepka, Luke Donald, James Morrison

Koepka has won on the European and PGA tours over the last seven months. Donald is a two-time champion (2011, ’12) at this event. He also finished T-3 here a year ago. Morrison won last week at the Spanish Open.

8 a.m./3:35 a.m.: Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose, Danny Willett

G-Mac did not compete in this event last year and has one top-25 finish in 11 career starts. Rose, meanwhile, is a two-time runner-up. Willett was the third-place finisher at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and was fifth at this event in 2010.