Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia make up marquee group at Players

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson set out for the traditional Tuesday game early at TPC Sawgrass, but if crowds missed them no worries – the duo will play the first two rounds of this week’s Players Championship.

Mickelson and Johnson will be joined by Sergio Garcia – giving the group the 2007 (Mickelson) and 2008 (Garcia) Players’ champion – off the 10th tee at 8:39 a.m. (ET) on Thursday.

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Just in front of that marquee pairing will be an equally interesting threesome of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Harris English. McIlroy hasn’t played his best at the circuit’s flagship event, missing three of four cuts at TPC Sawgrass, but was solid last week at the Wells Fargo Championship (T-8) and did finish eighth last year at The Players.

McIlroy, U.S. Open champion Rose and English, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, tee off on No. 10 at 8:29 a.m.

Masters champion Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar and Jimmy Walker are on the other side of the draw, teeing off on the first hole at 1:49 p.m.

Walker is the only three-time Tour winner this season and Kuchar won The Players in 2012.

- Rex Hoggard, Golf Channel

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