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Mickelson grouped with Steele, Bae at Safeway

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If you blinked in the last few days, you may have missed the PGA Tour's offseason.

With European Ryder Cup celebrations still raging, the Tour is set to kick off its 2018-19 season with the Safeway Open. A field of 144 will be headlined by Phil Mickelson, the only Ryder Cup participant who made the trip this week to Napa.

Here's a look at the marquee, early-round groupings at Silverado Resort where Mickelson will play with two recent tournament champs (all times ET):

10:50 a.m. Thursday, 3:30 p.m. Friday: Brandt Snedeker, Patrick Cantlay, Fred Couples

Snedeker won the Wyndham Championship in August, and he'll tee it up for the first time since the BMW Championship. Joining him will be Cantlay, a winner during the fall portion of the season last year in Las Vegas, and Couples, making a rare under-50 start on a sponsor exemption.


11 a.m. Thursday, 3:40 p.m.: Patrick Rodgers, Beau Hossler, Joaquin Niemann

This group includes three of the most talented players still without a Tour win, including Hossler who lost a playoff to Ian Poulter at last year's Houston Open. But the player with the brightest upside might be Niemann, the 19-year-old Chilean who earned his card while bypassing the Web.com Tour thanks to a remarkably strong summer.


3:30 p.m. Thursday, 10:50 a.m. Friday: Phil Mickelson, Brendan Steele, Sangmoon Bae

Mickelson will be the main draw this week in wine country, returning to an event where he has cracked the top 10 each of the last two years. He'll play alongside two-time defending champ Steele, looking to become the first to win the same event three straight years since Steve Stricker at the Deere in 2009-11, and Bae, who won at Silverado in 2014 before his two-year stint in the Korean military.


3:40 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. Friday: Emiliano Grillo, Bill Haas, Robert Streb

Grillo earned his first Tour win at this event back in 2015, and he's back in action after narrowly missing out on a spot at the Tour Championship. Haas hopes to bounce back off a disappointing season that saw him lose fully-exempt status, while Streb regained his card with a win in August at the first Web.com Tour Finals event.


4:20 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday: Mark Mulder, Carlos Ortiz, Sepp Straka

Mulder made his career as a pitcher with the Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals, but he's become an accomplished amateur golfer since retiring. He'll make his PGA Tour debut this week on a sponsor invite in a grouping with Ortiz, the former Web.com Tour Player of the Year, and Straka, one of the Tour rookies for 2019.