Tour Confidential Daily: Which Masters grouping is the most intriguing?

Rory McIlroy splashes out of the bunker at the 2021 Masters on Tueday.

Rory McIlroy will be grouped with Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele for the first two rounds of the Masters.

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Check in each day of this week’s Masters for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topic in the tournament, and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.

Tee times for the 85th Masters are out! (Click here for the complete sheet.) Which first- and second-round grouping is the most intriguing to you?

Dylan Dethier: I’ll start with the obvious answer: The most intriguing group off is the final one. Jordan Spieth, coming off a win and looking to launch the next phase of his career. Collin Morikawa, arguably the game’s best irons player in a week when precision is everything. Cameron Smith, last year’s runner-up, mullet groomed and ready to lead the Aussie charge during a firm, fast week at Augusta.

Josh Sens: Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy. Two of the best players to never win a biggie, rounded out by a superstar with all kinds of Augusta demons looking to complete the career grand slam. That’s what the kids call Must See TV.

Dustin Johnson
Masters picks to win: Here’s who our staff is betting on at Augusta National
By: Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski: The Brooks-Bubba-Hovland Thursday morning/Friday afternoon grouping. Koepka (and his knee) will be broadcast on ESPN for his entire back nine on Friday afternoon. How will he look after 36? Will he play another 36? Bubba and Hovland are also a fun watch, too.

Zephyr Melton: Early/late Jason Day, Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ. If you like bombs, this is the grouping for you. Wolff and Champ can absolutely send it, and Day averages over 300 yards per whack as well. Power is the name of the game in 2021, and this group has plenty of it. It’ll be interesting to see how a firm Augusta National holds up against extreme power.

Jessica Marksbury: I’m totally digging the Hideki-Harris English-Abraham Ancer grouping. Not only do I think Abraham is a very viable sleeper this week, it’s no stretch to envision the first-round leader emerging from this trio.

Luke Kerr-Dineen: That Mickelson-Fleetwood-Scheffler group looks juicy. Two guys who I could very easily see slipping on a green jacket one day (perhaps one day soon) playing with an all-time Augusta legend in Phil Mickelson. It seems like a stretch to think that Mickelson could contend at the Masters in 2021, but if the greens truly are as firm and fast as those on the ground say, you can never quite count out a short game like Lefty’s.

Alan Bastable: Sign me up for Langer, Zalatoris and English amateur Joe Long. There are few players I more enjoy watching cagily pick apart Augusta than Langer, and no doubt the two first-timers will be observing his actions closely, even if they are 60 yards ahead of him.

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