Pairing prognostications


AUGUSTA, Ga. – First- and second-round tee times will not be released by Augusta National until Tuesday, but Tiger Woods seems to be making a statement with his practice-round partners of choice.

On Sunday Woods went off No. 10 with former Masters champion and friend Mark O’Meara, while Monday he teed off on the first hole with Fred Couples and was joined on the 13th green by Jim Furyk, both of whom are friends with the world No. 1.

During his 33-minute press conference on Monday Woods also said he planned to play a Tuesday primer with O’Meara and Steve Stricker, who was paired with Woods for the first three playoff events last year and all four team matches at last year’s Presidents Cup.

O’Meara, who is probably past his prime at Augusta National, seems like a good fit, but Stricker and Furyk, to say nothing of Couples, would all be considered contenders and may not cherish a spot in that spotlight.

Stay tuned.