STEPHEN Gallacher will have a major winner for company when he makes his eagerly-awaited Masters debut at Augusta National tomorrow.
The 39-year-old has been drawn with Darren Clarke, the 2011 Open champion, for the first two rounds, with American Nick Watney completing the group.
It looks a good draw for Gallacher, as are the times for both rounds. He’s out at 11:47am tomorrow then 8:29am on Friday. On both days, he’ll be just behind Sandy Lyle, the 1988 winner and the only other Scot teeing up in the season’s opening major this year.
One of Lyle’s playing partners is Matt Jones, the Australian who claimed the final spot in the field by winning the Shell Houston Open on Sunday in a play-off.
American Ken Duke makes up that group, which is out at 11:25am for the first round and 8:07am on day two. Open champion Phil Mickelson and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy are in two of the groups that will attract big crowds.
Mickelson is out with two-times Open winner Ernie Els and US Open champion Justin Rose, while McIlroy is in a group of young guns with American duo Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.
The draw has also thrown up an exciting couple of days for Sheffield’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, who earned his spot through winning the US Amateur Championship last year.
The 19-year-old’s group includes Adam Scott, the defending champion, and last year’s US PGA Championship winner, Jason Dufner.
Bamburgh’s Garrick Porteous, the Scottish Stroke Play champion but here after winning the Amateur Championship as well last year, has been paired with two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal and former US Open champion Lucas Glover.
In yesterday’s practice round, Olazabal played the back nine with Gallacher as well as Miguel Angel Jimenez. For today’s Par-3 tournament, the Scot plays with Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen and will have both his children – Jack and Ellie – sharing the caddying duties.
FIRST ROUND TEE-TIMES
(USA unless stated, all times BST):
(x) denotes amateurs
1245 Stewart Cink, Tim Clark (Rsa)
1256 Ian Woosnam (Wal), Kevin Stadler, John Huh
1307 Ben Crenshaw, Jonas Blixt (Swe), Y.E. Yang (Kor)
1318 Mark O’Meara, Steven Bowditch (Aus), Jordan Niebrugge
1329 John Senden (Aus), David Lynn (Eng), Boo Weekley
1340 Craig Stadler, Scott Stallings, Martin Kaymer (Ger)
1351 Tom Watson, Billy Horschel, Brendon De Jonge
1402 Ben Weir (Can), Matthew Every, Roberto Castro
1413 Angel Cabrera (Arg), Ian Poulter (Eng), Gary Woodland
1424 Fred Couples, Webb Simpson, Chang-woo Lee (Kor)
1435 Graeme McDowell (Nirl), Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker
1457 Zach Johnson, K J Choi (Kor), Steve Stricker
1508 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Bill Haas, Matteo Manassero (Ita)
1519 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Brandt Snedeker, Jamie Donaldson (Wal)
1530 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Jim Furyk, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)
1541 Adam Scott (Aus), Jason Dufner, (x) Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng)
1552 Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy (Nirl)
1603 Kevin Streelman, D.A. Points
1614 Larry Mize, Michael Mccoy, Branden Grace (Rsa)
1625 Sandy Lyle (Sco), Ken Duke, Matthew Jones (Aus)
1636 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa), Lucas Glover, (x) Garrick Porteous (Eng)
1647 Nick Watney, Darren Clarke (Nirl), Stephen Gallacher (Sco)
1709 Vijay Singh (Fij), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Ryan Moore
1720 Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)
1731 Trevor Immelman (Rsa), Graham Delaet (Can), Oliver Goss (Aus)
1742 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa), Sang-moon Bae (Kor), Derek Ernst
1753 Bernhard Langer (Ger), Francesco Molinari (Ita), Chris Kirk
1804 Jason Day (Aus), Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson (Swe)
1815 Bubba Watson, Luke Donald (Eng), Sergio Garcia (Spa)
1826 Joost Luiten (Ned), Marc Leishman (Aus), Hunter Mahan
1837 Keegan Bradley, Victor Dubuisson (Fra), Peter Hanson (Swe)
1848 Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els (Rsa), Justin Rose (Eng)
1859 Harris English, Lee Westwood (Eng), Russell Henley