Tiger Time is 1:52 p.m. Thursday

Updated: April 7, 2009, 3:41 PM ET
Reuters

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- World No. 1 Tiger Woods will launch his bid for a 15th major title in the company of fellow American Stewart Cink and Indian Jeev Milkha Singh at this week's Masters.

A four-time winner of the year's opening major, Woods is scheduled to tee off at 1: 52 p.m. ET in Thursday's opening round at Augusta National Golf Club.

"There is a lot of excitement for the first major tournament of the year," Woods, 33, said Tuesday.

"I feel good about my game and had good practice sessions with [swing coach] Hank Haney. I didn't work on anything specific; just did a lot of fine-tuning."

Woods will be competing in his first Grand Slam event since winning the U.S. Open in a playoff with Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines in June.

He was then sidelined for eight months while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. He has already triumphed once in just three starts since returning to the PGA Tour.

"The preparation, the feeling that I have right now, it feels the same," said Woods, who clinched his 66th Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational nine days ago.

"I was surprised at how fast I got the feeling back. Coming here, it feels the same, just like any other major championship."

Twice Masters champion Phil Mickelson has been drawn with fellow American Jim Furyk and Colombian Camilo Villegas for the first two rounds. They start at 10:45 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Vijay Singh, who won the 2000 Masters, will tee off with Australian world No. 4 Geoff Ogilvy and South African Ernie Els at 10:23 a.m., two groups in front of Mickelson's group.

British Open champion Padraig Harrington, who will be bidding for a rare third consecutive major victory this week, has a 10:34 a.m. start with 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir of Canada and Japan's Ryuji Imada.

Spanish world No. 3 Sergio Garcia has been grouped with Australian Stuart Appleby and Britain's Oliver Wilson. They tee off in the penultimate group at 10:56 a.m.

First off, following a ceremonial tee shot by golfing great Arnold Palmer, will be 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam and Americans Chez Reavie and Briny Baird.