Day to play first two Masters rounds with Tiger Woods

Jason Day hopes playing in the marquee grouping with Tiger Woods for the first two rounds of the Masters proves the spur he craves as Australia's former world No.1 strives to set the record straight at the year's opening major.

Now among an elite group of golfers to have finished runner-up at all four major championships following his joint second at last year's British Open, Day has been afforded the ultimate billing at Augusta National.

At 48 and barely a part-timer these days, Woods has arrived for his 26th Masters campaign adamant he can break then-46-year-old Jack Nicklaus's 1986 record as the oldest player ever to win a green jacket.

"If it all comes together,  I think I can get one more," Woods said after a practice round on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST) with Justin Thomas and Fred Couples.

Woods, though, isn't the only one chasing a slice of history this week, with Day - who was second on debut in 2011, third behind countryman Adam Scott in 2013 and joint fifth five years ago - eyeing an elusive first green jacket.

But despite surging back from 175th in the rankings in late 2022 to the world's top 20, the former PGA Championship winner hasn't been happy with his game over the past month.

He was especially annoyed at missing the cut last start at the Houston Open, conceding his short-game stats were not up to scratch.

Jason Day and Bubba Watson.
Jason Day and Bubba Watson shake hands after a practice round at Augusta.

But teeing off with five-time champion Woods and fellow American Max Homa has given the 35-year-old a boost.

"That's exciting. I'm happy about that. That's a good pairing," Day said before vowing to block out Tigermania in the galleries and stick to his own game plan.

"As long as you're concentrating on what you need to do, then it shouldn't matter, people moving.

"I've played out here a long time, and I think there's guys that don't like people moving around the greens, but for the most part I've never really been too distracted with people moving.

"If I am distracted, just come off and readjust and go in again."

Day is sweating on forecast thunderstorms to have past by the time he and Woods tee off at 1.24pm local time on Thursday.

Adam Scott, Australia's only ever Masters winner, hits off in the preceding three-ball with US pair Cameron Young and Sam Burns.

Cameron Smith also features in a star-studded grouping with reigning US Open champion Wyndham Clark and Norwegian world No.6 Viktor Hovland.

Cameron Smith.
Cameron Smith and his caddie discuss his swing on the Augusta National driving range.

Australia's 2022 British Open champ tees off at 10.42am local time.

Min Woo Lee, nursing a broken finger in his right hand, also has a morning start with American big guns Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler.

Australian amateur Jasper Stubbs will make his major debut alongside 2007 champion Zach Johnson and Canadian Corey Conners.


11pm Thursday: Jasper Stubbs (AUS), Zach Johnson (USA), Corey Conners (CAN)

12.06am Friday: Min Woo Lee (AUS), Patrick Cantlay (USA), Rickie Fowler (USA)

12:18am: Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Will Zalatoris (USA), Justin Thomas (USA)

12:30am: Jon Rahm (ESP), Matt Fitzpatrick (ENG), Nick Dunlap (USA)

12.42am: Scottie Scheffler (USA), Rory McIlroy (NIR), Xander Schauffele (USA)

12:54am: Cameron Smith (AUS), Wyndham Clark (USA), Viktor Hovland (NOR) 

1:18am: Cam Davis (AUS), Camilo Villegas (COL), Denny McCarthy (USA)

3:12am: Adam Scott (AUS), Sam Burns (USA), Cameron Young (USA)

3:24am: Jason Day (AUS), Tiger Woods (USA), Max Homa (USA)

3:36am: Brian Harman (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA), Tom Kim (KOR)

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