By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 08/06/20 6:17am
Rory McIlroy will play alongside Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka as the world’s top three players were grouped together for the first two rounds of the Charles Schwab Challenge.
The marquee threeball will headline the Featured Group coverage from Colonial Country Club in Texas as the PGA Tour returns to competition for the first time since the enforced shutdown of worldwide sport due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
McIlroy, Rahm and Koepka were also grouped together for the first two rounds of The Players Championship back in March, but the tournament was abandoned after the first day at TPC Sawgrass.
The PGA Tour announced four Featured Groups for the opening two rounds, with close friends Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth also grouped together, while Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose form another stellar threesome.
Live PGA Tour Golf
June 11, 2020, 12:45pm
Defending champion Kevin Na goes out with US Open holder Gary Woodland and fan-favourite Phil Mickelson, with tee times for the opening two rounds being revealed on Tuesday at approximately 6pm BST.
McIlroy is making his debut in the tournament and will hope for a repeat of his handsome win in his first start at the RBC Canadian Open last year, while Rahm and Koepka have both finished runner-up at Colonial in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Koepka’s closing 63 was not enough to deny Rose a three-shot win in 2018. That was the same margin of victory that Spieth enjoyed as he clinched his eighth PGA Tour title in 2016, but he remains without a title since The Open in 2017.
Mickelson is a two-time champion in 2000 and 2008, but he will have his work cut out to make it a hat-trick less than a week before his 50th birthday as he tees up against one of the strongest fields in the tournament’s history.
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No fewer than 101 of the 148 competitors have won on the PGA Tour, but the entry list did not include Tiger Woods despite impressing with his game, and his health, in the recent charity match at Medalist which also featured Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Watch the PGA Tour return to action for the first time in 12 weeks on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event. Live Featured Group coverage from the Charles Schwab Challenge begins Thursday at 12.45pm.