The Players Championship 2014: Tee times, pairings for Thursday's first round

Richard Heathcote

The Players Championship begins on Thursday, and while it's not officially a major, the event does draw a major-like field, yielding many notable pairings.

With a $10 million purse and a loaded field, the Players Championship feels a lot like a major championship, even if it isn't officially designated one. While the debate will continue whether it should be considered the fifth major, the simple fact is with a major-quality field, some excellent golf should be on the horizon. With so many notable names in the field, the early rounds will be loaded with featured parings.

The notable groups will begin hitting the course early Thursday morning with the pairing of Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson set to go off the 10th tee at 8:39 a.m. ET. They will be the last of three straight headline pairings beginning on the back nine. The trio of Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Graeme McDowell will tee off at 8:18 a.m. with Harris English, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy set to tee off at 8:29 a.m.

While there will be plenty of big names on the course in the morning, the afternoon also has its share of star-studded pairings. Adam Scott will play with Rickie Fowler and Steve Stricker, with the three set to tee off at 1:39 p.m. They'll be followed off the first tee by Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker. When Watson steps to the first tee, it will be the first time he's played a tournament as the two-time Masters champ, following his victory at Augusta last month.

The big story heading into the Players Championship has been the condition of the greens at TPC Sawgrass. The misuse of a chemical during the winter led to multiple greens being in very rough shape. Conditions were so poor that several greens were closed during practice rounds. While players and officials appear confident the greens will be in at least adequate condition for the first round, there is no telling how they will hold up through the day with 144 players making their way through them. They may start the day smooth and rolled nicely thanks to additional maintenance, only to break down during the round. Greens are always worse late in the day, but if the TPC Sawgrass surfaces deteriorate even more than usual, it could be a major advantage for those playing in the morning.

Playing in the morning may be an advantage, but those early groups won't get very much television time. First round TV coverage won't begin until 1 p.m., likely around the time Mickelson and a few other big names are coming off the course. There will, however, be featured group and featured hole streams, allowing viewers to watch some of the early action live. Mickelson, Garcia and Johnson will be the featured group in the morning with a dedicated stream covering their rounds.

Here is a complete look at the first-round tee sheet. All times Eastern.

Morning wave off No. 1

Tee Time

Players

7:15 a.m.

Lee Westwood

Martin Flores

Brendon de Jonge

7:26 a.m.

Andres Romero

Jeff Maggert

Brian Stuard

7:36 a.m.

Chris Stroud

James Driscoll

Thomas Bjorn

7:47 a.m.

Michael Thompson

Brian Gay

Stuart Appleby

7:57 a.m.

Marc Leishman

K.J. Choi

Geoff Ogilvy

8:08 a.m.

Matt Jones

Russell Henley

Kevin Streelman

8:18 a.m.

Ryan Moore

Gary Woodland

Billy Horschel

8:29 a.m.

Scott Stallings

Kevin Na

Charl Schwartzel

8:39 a.m.

Chris Kirk

Scott Brown

Ernie Els

8:50 a.m.

Johnson Wagner

Stewart Cink

Retief Goosen

9:00 a.m.

Ben Crane

Bo Van Pelt

David Lingmerth

9:11 a.m.

Graham DeLaet

Morgan Hoffmann

Stephen Gallacher

Morning wave off No. 10

Tee Time

Players

7:15 a.m.

Bryce Molder

Jerry Kelly

James Hahn

7:26 a.m.

Aaron Baddeley

Ryan Palmer

Gonzalo Fdez-Castano

7:36 a.m.

Cameron Tringale

D.H. Lee

William McGirt

7:47 a.m.

J.B. Holmes

Ken Duke

Rory Sabbatini

7:57 a.m.

Derek Ernst

Carl Pettersson

Jonathan Byrd

8:08 a.m.

Patrick Reed

Jason Dufner

Luke Donald

8:18 a.m.

Zach Johnson

Jordan Spieth

Graeme McDowell

8:29 a.m.

Harris English

Justin Rose

Rory McIlroy

8:39 a.m.

Dustin Johnson

Phil Mickelson

Sergio Garcia

8:50 a.m.

Woody Austin

Boo Weekley

Y.E. Yang

9:00 a.m.

Brendan Steele

Camilo Villegas

Jason Kokrak

9:11 a.m.

Robert Garrigus

Josh Teater

John Peterson

Afternoon wave off No. 1

Tee Time

Players

12:25 p.m.

Charlie Wi

Nicholas Thompson

Roberto Castro

12:36 p.m.

Brian Harman

Richard H. Lee

Hideki Matsuyama

12:46 p.m.

Jason Bohn

Pat Perez

Brian Davis

12:57 p.m.

Charlie Beljan

Kyle Stanley

Justin Leonard

1:07 p.m.

J.J. Henry

John Huh

Angel Cabrera

1:18 p.m.

Webb Simpson

Jonas Blixt

Keegan Bradley

1:28 p.m.

Henrik Stenson

Brandt Snedeker

Jim Furyk

1:39 p.m.

Adam Scott

Rickie Fowler

Steve Stricker

1:49 p.m.

Matt Kuchar

Bubba Watson

Jimmy Walker

2:00 p.m.

Sang-Moon Bae

George McNeill

Mark Wilson

2:10 p.m.

Freddie Jacobson

Kevin Chappell

Michael Putnam

2:21 p.m.

Briny Baird

David Hearn

Erik Compton

Afternoon wave off No. 10

Tee Time

Players

12:25 p.m.

Will MacKenzie

Greg Chalmers

Thongchai Jaidee

12:36 p.m.

Jeff Overton

Daniel Summerhays

Jamie Donaldson

12:46 p.m.

Charley Hoffman

Luke Guthrie

Justin Hicks

12:57 p.m.

Ted Potter, Jr.

Martin Kaymer

Darren Clarke

1:07 p.m.

Lucas Glover

Tim Clark

Kenny Perry

1:18 p.m.

Steven Bowditch

John Senden

Bill Haas

1:28 p.m.

Seung-Yul Noh

Kevin Stadler

Louis Oosthuizen

1:39 p.m.

Matt Every

Chesson Hadley

Nick Watney

1:49 p.m.

Ian Poulter

Hunter Mahan

Charles Howell III

2:00 p.m.

Martin Laird

D.A. Points

John Merrick

2:10 p.m.

John Rollins

Scott Langley

Francesco Molinari

2:21 p.m.

Russell Knox

Shawn Stefani

Joost Luiten

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