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major draws Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry is big-name groups for PGA Championship

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Rory McIlroy is aiming to win his third US PGA Championship this week. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Rory McIlroy is aiming to win his third US PGA Championship this week. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Rory McIlroy is aiming to win his third US PGA Championship this week. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry have been handed stellar draws for this week's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.

McIlroy will set off the 10th at 1.33pm Irish time on Thursday with fellow two-time PGA champion Brooks Koepka and 2017 winner Justin Thomas, the world No 2.

Open champion Lowry partners world No 1 Dustin Johnson and Spain’s Sergio Garcia from the first at 7.09pm Irish time in round one.

European Ryder Cup skipper Pádraig Harrington, winner in 2008, is drawn with 2005 PGA champion Phil Mickelson and Australia's Jason Day, the winner at Whistling Straits in 2015, from the first tee on Thursday at 6.14 pm Irish time.

Lowry is bracing himself for a tough test after playing the course with Johnson on Monday.

“It’s gonna be a test,” Lowry said. “I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t been here before. While I would’ve watched in 2012, I don’t really remember it.

"But especially with the wind blowing around here, I think it’ll be a very tough test and you need to keep the ball in play off the tee.

“There’s a lot of trouble out there and then when you get around the greens, it’s going to require a lot of good chipping and putting.

“If you hit 12 or 14 greens around here you’ll be doing very well.”

Selected tee times (US unless stated, Irish time)

Thurs/Friday

1st tee/10th tee

1752/1227 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Max Homa, Sam Burns
1803/1238 Corey Conners (Can), Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng), Tony Finau
1814/1249 Phil Mickelson, Pádraig Harrington (Irl), Jason Day (Aus)
1825/1300 Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm (Esp), Tommy Fleetwood
1836/1311 Gary Woodland, Cameron Smith (Aus), Justin Rose (Eng)
1858/1333 Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Will Zalatoris
1909/1344 Shane Lowry (Irl), Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia (Esp)
1920/1355 Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar, Thomas Pieters (Bel)

10th tee/1st tee

1227/1752 Marc Leishman (Aus), Garrick Higgo (RSA), Paul Casey (Eng)
1238/1803 Adam Scott (Aus), Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Rickie Fowler
1249/1814 John Catlin, Robert MacIntyre (Sco), Cameron Champ
1300/1825 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Zach Johnson, Scottie Scheffler
1322/1847 Lee Westwood (Eng), Xander Schauffele, Viktor Hovland (Nor)
1333/1858 Rory McIlroy (NIr), Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas
1344/1909 Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Bryson DeChambeau
1355/1920 Erik van Rooyen (RSA), Charley Hoffman, Matt Wallace (Eng)

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