Thrilled Russell Knox drawn with Fowler and Matsuyama

Russell Knox said he expects lots of birdies from his opening-round group at the Masters.  Picture: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Russell Knox said he expects lots of birdies from his opening-round group at the Masters. Picture: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
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Russell Knox is in one of the featured groups in the opening two rounds for the 81st Masters, having been paired with world 
No 4 Hideki Matsuyama and eighth-ranked Rickie Fowler.

“I didn’t expect to find myself in such a great grouping, so I am really pleased and it should be fun,” said the Scottish No 1. “I know Rickie really well while I also get on with Hideki really well, and even more so as he now has his name under mine on the HSBC Champions trophy.”

The trio will tee off at 10.12am local time on Thursday, an hour and a bit after Sandy Lyle, the 1988 winner, heads out 
with English amateur Scott Gregory and American Sean O’Hair.

“One thing for certain is that there should be great buzz around the group that should make for a big patron following the first two days,” added Knox after playing his second practice round of the week with American Brian Stuard.

“Also, with the way Rickie has been playing of late and given how well Hideki finished off last year and then took that winning form into this year, you can be assured there should be plenty of birdies out there. I just hope that I can get amongst them as well.”

It will be the second time that Lyle and Amateur champion Gregory have played together in a major, having also been in the same group for the opening 36 holes in last year’s Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Rory McIlroy is out in the third last group in the first round along with Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and 
Spaniard Jon Rahm, while world No 1 Dustin Johnson plays with two-time winner Bubba Watson and 
USPGA champion Jimmy Walker in the final group on day one.