PGA Championship 2018 Thursday tee times: Justin Thomas to tee off alongside Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods

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Defending champion Justin Thomas tees off alongside Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods as the 100th PGA Championship gets underway on Thursday.

Here’s the groups and UAE tee times for the first round.

*From Hole 1

15:50: Michael Block, Eddie Pepperell, Ryan Fox

16:01: Austin Cook, Craig Hocknull, Alexander Bjork

16:12: Yusaku Miyazato, Bob Sowards, Scott Brown

16:23: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Thomas Bjorn, James Hahn

16:34: Billy Horschel, Byeong Hun An, Shane Lowry

16:45: Brian Harman, Yuta Ikeda, Adam Hadwin

16:56: Padraig Harrington, Jimmy Walker, Vijay Singh

17:07: Bryson DeChambeau, Andy Sullivan, Kiradech Aphibarnrat

17:18: Ryan Armour, Cameron Smith, Peter Uihlein

17:29: Paul Dunne, J.B. Holmes, Dylan Frittelli

17:40: Charles Howell III, Jason Schmuhl, Brian Gay

17:51: David Muttitt, Ollie Schniederjans, Troy Merritt

18:02: Shawn Warren, Mikko Korhonen, J.J. Spaun

21:20: Johan Kok, Brandon Stone, Whee Kim

21:31: Matt Wallace, Matt Dobyns, Beau Hossler

21:42: Chris Wood, Alex Noren, Matt Kuchar

21:53: Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott

22:04: Tommy Fleetwood, Satoshi Kodaira, Marc Leishman

22:15: Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari

22:26: Gary Woodland, Sergio Garcia, Kevin Kisner

22:37: Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose

22:48: Aaron Wise, Paul Casey, Zach Johnson

22:59: Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Bill Haas

23:10: Lee Westwood, Joaquin Niemann, Daniel Berger

23:21: Omar Uresti, Justin Harding, Andrew Landry

23:32: Matthew Borchert, Chris Stroud, Andrew Putnam

*From Hole 10

15:55: Jamie Lovemark, Rich Berberian Jr., Shugo Imahira

16:06: Brandt Snedeker, Sean McCarty, Haotong Li

16:17: Jim Furyk, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele

16:28: Davis Love III, Martin Kaymer, Rich Beem

16:39: Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Ian Poulter

16:50: Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Pat Perez

17:01: Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley

17:12: Shubhankar Sharma, Jordan Smith, Scott Piercy

17:23: Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods

17:34: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson, Jhonattan Vegas

17:45: Stewart Cink, Branden Grace, Ryan Moore

17:56: Ross Fisher, Alexander Levy, Patton Kizzire

18:07: Julian Suri, Sungjae Im, Craig Bowden

21:15: Daniel Balin, Chesson Hadley, Russell Henley

21:26: Marty Jertson, Luke List, Kevin Chappell

21:37: Jaysen Hansen, Nick Watney, Kyle Stanley

21:48: Ted Potter Jr., Emiliano Grillo, Jorge Campillo

21:59: Ryan Vermeer, Paul Broadhurst, John Daly

22:10: Si Woo Kim, Brice Garnett, Tyrrell Hatton

22:21: Y.E. Yang, Jason Dufner, Shaun Micheel

22:32: Thorbjorn Olesen, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Cantlay

22:43: Brendan Steele, Adrian Otaegui, Kevin Na

22:54: Chez Reavie, Charley Hoffman, Russell Knox

23:05: Zach Johnson, Michael Kim, Seungsu Han

23:16: Brian Smock, Anirban Lahiri, Mike Lorenzo-Vera

23:27: Ben Kern, Ryuko Tokimatsu

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Jordan Spieth aiming to complete career grand slam and other talking points ahead of the PGA Championship

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Justin Thomas will be bidding to defend his PGA Championship title on Thursday as the final major of the year gets underway at Bellerive Country Club.

Here, we look at five talking points ahead of the tournament.

Can Jordan Spieth complete a career grand slam?

The three-time major winner finished second behind Jason Day in 2015 – the only title to evade him to date.

The 24-year-old has had a mixed season, with a disappointing ninth place at The Open where he held the lead after three rounds.

In 2018, the right-hander has recorded two top-5, three top-10 and five top-25 finishes, including a win at the Tournament of Champions in January.

Returning to a patchy Bellerive course where the fairways are burnt from the mid-West heatwave, Spieth has another chance to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in achieving a career grand slam.

Can Thomas be the first back-to-back winner since Woods in 2007?

Woods was the last player to successfully defend his PGA title, with a two-shot victory in Oklahoma back in 2007.

But Thomas’s form has been positive, with one missed cut in 25 events including a win at the WGC Invitational last week.

A repeat of last year’s heroics at Quail Hollow seem realistic and the Kentucky native certainly has the class and consistency to mount a challenge for his second major. A fast start is crucial for the 25-year-old.

What next for Woods?

The American has not played in the PGA Championship since missing the cut in 2015 – with the last of his three titles coming 11 years ago at Southern Hills.

Since returning to action after undergoing back surgery last April, Woods has recorded three top-five and four top-15 finishes, including a tie for sixth at the Open Championship.

Winning a fourth title would be a fairytale way to seal one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history and recent form suggests the 42-year-old could well be in contention for a first major since 2008.

Can Europe make it two out of two?

Francesco Molinari’s victory at the Open Championship means Europe had their first major winner in six events – stretching back to the Masters in 2017.

Although American stars Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Thomas all seem to be hitting a rich vein of form at the right time, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose could well be in with a shout after showing promise in Carnoustie last month.

But American players’ strong hold on the PGA Championship is also tight, winning three out of the last five championships.

Based on current form, it looks difficult to see anything but an American winner in Missouri this weekend, despite McIlroy, Rose and Molinari all in top condition.

What condition is the course in?

After the USGA came in for serious criticism over their approach in the US Open at Shinnecock Hills, the PGA will be determined to avoid similar mistakes at St Louis this weekend.

With June and July among the hottest months on record in Missouri history, course green keepers have been battling to improve the stressed conditions as much as possible.

As it stands the greens look patchy and burnt, meaning fast conditions could decide the winner of the final major of the season.

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Justin Rose brings back old memories with a tie for second at Carnoustie

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Justin Rose has rekindled his love of the Open Championship after finally surpassing his teenage heroics of two decades ago.

Rose finished in a tie for fourth as a 17-year-old amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998 and had recorded just one other top 10 in 15 subsequent appearances, despite having won the US Open in 2013 and Olympic gold in 2016.

But the 37-year-old put that disappointing statistic behind him with a tie for second at Carnoustie thanks to a record-equalling 64 in the third round and a closing 69 which left him two shots behind former Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari.

“It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament. That I can win the Open,” said Rose, who only made the halfway cut by making a birdie on the 18th in the second round.

“When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away. I really enjoy it. It was great to get the crowd behind me. I hadn’t felt the energy of the crowd for a while in the Open. That was a real positive for me and it renews the love of the Open for me.”

Rose looked to be out of contention after playing his first 13 holes in one over par, but hit the pin with his approach to the par-five 14th to set up a tap-in eagle and birdied the 18th for the fourth day running to overhaul Eddie Pepperell as the clubhouse leader.

“I set myself the lofty goal to shoot five under on the back nine to get to eight under,” Rose added. “The leaders started to wobble a little bit toward the end of the front nine, and that’s when I knew there was an opportunity.

“I started to play great golf. Making the eagle at 14 was the little kind of boost I needed. When I got it to five under, even though I was one behind I said to my caddie, ‘I feel like I’m two back the way the golf course is playing’. So I kept urging myself to try and make birdies.”

Rose even contemplated holing his second shot on the 18th, rekindling memories of the way he pitched in for a birdie on the 72nd hole at Birkdale in 1998.

“Yeah, it brought back memories for sure. The fact I had a wedge shot for my approach. I was thinking, can I do it again? I very nearly did.”

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