Spieth, Fowler, Rahm highlight WMPO featured groups


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The PGA Tour’s biggest party of the year is upon us, and several big names have made their way to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Here are four star-studded groupings to keep an eye on during the first two rounds at TPC Scottsdale (all times ET):

9:57 a.m. Thursday off 10 tee, 2:07 p.m. Friday off 1 tee: Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm

Fowler has been on the PGA Tour since 2009, and he will be the elder statesman of this marquee grouping. He lost in a playoff last year at this event and has one other runner-up finish (2010). The 28-year-old will be paired with his buddy Spieth, who has found his form of late, finishing his last three tournaments T-6, T-3, solo third. Rounding out the trio is Rahm. He comes in with plenty of momentum after last week at Torrey Pines, where the 22-year-old, former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world shot a final-round 65 to claim his first Tour Victory.

2:07 p.m. Thursday off 1 tee, 9:57 a.m. Friday off 10 tee: Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Adam Hadwin

Justin Thomas took a well-deserved break after completing the "Aloha Slam" and joining the 59 club earlier this month. He is grouped with Mickelson and Hadwin for the first two days at TPC Scottsdale. Mickelson is still looking to break a winless drought that dates back to the 2013 Open Championship, but he could be finding a groove after finishing T-14 last week at the Farmers Insurance Open. Hadwin has also been on a tear of late, carding a 59 one week after Thomas did it, eventually finishing second at the CareerBuilder Challenge and following it up with a 66 in the first round last week at Torrey Pines before fading on the weekend.

2:16 p.m. Thursday off 1 tee, 10:06 a.m. Friday off 10 tee: Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar

A couple of winning U.S. Ryder Cup players and their assistant captain in this group. Reed has shown flashes so far this year, finishing T-6 at the SBS Tournament of Champions and T-12 at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Watson has finished runner-up in this event twice (2014, 2015), losing in a playoff both times. We've only seen him once in 2017, however, when he finished T-25 at the TOC. Meanwhile, Kuchar is making his PGA Tour debut in the new year, but he did combine with Harris English to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout the last time we saw him in December.

10:06 a.m. Thursday off 10 tee, 2:16 p.m. Friday off 1 tee: Hideki Matsuyama, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka

Last year's winner here and hottest player in the world until Thomas tore up Hawaii, Matsuyama, will get his title defense started alongside Koepka, who won this event in 2015 for his lone PGA Tour title. Berger, who also has a title under his belt, and Koepka both missed the cut last week at Torrey Pines.