- Bob Harig, Senior Golf Writer
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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Phil Mickelson will begin defense of his Masters title on Thursday at 1:48 p.m. ET as part of the second-to-last group to tee off in the opening round at Augusta National Golf Club.
Tiger Woods, a four-time Masters winner, gets an earlier start, going off at 10:41 a.m. ET Thursday with reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and Australia's Robert Allenby. They will play Friday at 1:48 p.m. ET.
Mickelson will attempt to become only the fourth player ever to win back-to-back Masters titles.
"I like the latest tee time possible here," Mickelson said Tuesday, "and the reason is, at about 5 o'clock it just seems to calm down. It seems like any wind that might be out there just seems to subside. It seems very peaceful and I would love nothing more than to have the last tee time every day."
Woods continues to redefine his swing under new coach Sean Foley. Woods hasn't won a major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open.
"I just know that what I've been doing was not as consistent as what I can be doing," Woods said Tuesday. "I won here in '97 thinking that was a great week, but I can't repeat this. That swing would not put me in contention each and every week and I need to change that."
Other groupings include Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Nick Watney at 8:40 a.m.; Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day (nobody in the group is older than 23) at 9:24 a.m.; Ryder Cup captains Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love, along with amateur Lion Kim, at 12:31 p.m.; and Bubba Watson, Paul Casey and Edoardo Molinari at 1:15 p.m.
ESPN will air first- and second-round coverage from Augusta beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
Bob Harig is the golf writer for ESPN.com.
12hMicah Adams, ESPN Stats & Information
8dKevin Van Valkenburg