Three weeks after they shared the spotlight at the Tour Championship, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele will walk the fairways together as both men make their season debuts. Here are a few early-round tee times to keep an eye on as the PGA Tour kicks off its three-week stop in Asia with the CIMB Classic in Malaysia (all times ET):

8:40 p.m. Wednesday, 9:40 p.m. Thursday: Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Gavin Kyle Green

Thomas headlines this week’s field as he looks for his third straight win in Kuala Lumpur, where he sparked his Player of the Year campaign 12 months ago. Schauffele is making his first start since capping his rookie year with a Tour Championship win, while Green rounds out the trio 14 months after representing Malaysia in the Olympics.

8:50 p.m. Wednesday, 9:50 p.m. Thursday: Brendan Steele, Jhonattan Vegas, Charl Schwartzel

There’s no rest for the weary, as Steele hopped on an intercontinental flight hours after winning the season-opening Safeway Open for the second straight year. Last year he followed a victory in Napa with a T-26 finish in Malaysia, and he’ll look to better that effort while playing the first two rounds with Vegas and Schwartzel, who are both making their first starts since the Presidents Cup.

9 p.m. Wednesday, 10 p.m. Thursday: Gary Woodland, Anirban Lahiri, Thomas Pieters

This trio includes two men who have come close to victory in Kuala Lumpur, as Woodland was a runner-up here in 2013 and 2014 while Lahiri was unable to hold on to a 54-hole lead last year, when he faded to a tie for third. One year after his breakthrough Ryder Cup performance, Pieters will make his tournament debut and first PGA Tour start since the PGA Championship.

9:40 p.m. Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. Thursday: Paul Casey, Si Woo Kim, Davis Love III

At No. 14 in the world, Casey is the second-highest ranked player in the field behind only Thomas and closed the playoffs with three top-5 finishes in his final four starts. Kim has been inconsistent since his Players Championship win, including his performance two weeks ago at Liberty National, while Love embarks on another new season at age 53.

9:50 p.m. Wednesday, 8:40 p.m. Thursday: Hideki Matsuyama, Pat Perez, Branden Grace

Matsuyama won last year in China, and he returns to Asia with hopes of sparking a turnaround after injury and fatigue led to a disappointing close to his PGA Tour season. He’ll be joined by Perez, who made the Tour Championship for the first time last month at age 41, and Grace, who bowed out of the postseason after a T-25 finish at the Dell Technologies Championship.

Thomas, Schauffele grouped together at CIMB

Source: Internet


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