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Woods to tee off with Donald and Piercy at Masters

Tiger Woods of the U.S. sits after hitting his tee shot on the 18th hole during a practice round in preparation for the 2013 Masters golf to
Tiger Woods of the U.S. sits after hitting his tee shot on the 18th hole during a practice round in preparation for the 2013 Masters golf to

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Hot favorite and four-times champion Tiger Woods has been grouped with Britain's Luke Donald and American Scott Piercy for the first two rounds of this week's Masters.

Woods, who has won three events in just five starts on the 2013 PGA Tour, is scheduled to tee off at 10:45 a.m. (1445 GMT) in Thursday's opening round at Augusta National.

Though world number one Woods has not triumphed at the Masters since 2005 and is hunting his first major crown in five years, he has been installed as a 4-1 favorite by British bookmakers Ladbrokes for the April 11-14 tournament.

Fellow American Phil Mickelson, a three-times Masters winner, will launch his bid for a fifth major title in the company of South African Louis Oosthuizen and Germany's former world number one Martin Kaymer.

Left-hander Mickelson and his playing partners start at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Northern Irish world number two Rory McIlroy, American Keegan Bradley and Swede Fredrick Jacobson will tee off one group after Mickelson, Oosthuizen and Kaymer.

In other groupings, defending champion Bubba Watson will set off with Britain's Ian Poulter and U.S. amateur champion Steven Fox while 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel of South Africa has been paired with U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and Swede Peter Hanson.

First off at 8 a.m., following ceremonial tee shots by golfing greats Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, will be 1988 Masters champion Sandy Lyle of Britain and Americans John Peterson and amateur Nathan Smith.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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