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Day to tee off with major champs at PGA

Former champion Jason Day’s quest at a second PGA Championship, and a spot in the upcoming US Open at Torrey Pines, will be played out in front of a large gallery after he drew fan favourite Phil Mickelson for the opening two rounds.

Day will be the first Australian off in the afternoon wave of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course as he looks to replicate his 2015 heroics and claim a second major title.

The former world No.1, who has slipped to 65th in the rankings, is slated to begin at 3.14am Friday (AEST) off the 10th tee in the opening round with Mickelson and another former champion in Padraig Harrington.

Day must make the cut and find a way inside the top 60 in the world rankings at tournament end to secure a place in the US Open or otherwise face another similar cut off on June 7.

Day has twice won on the US PGA Tour at Torrey Pines.

Sydney’s Matt Jones will be the first Australian on course at 9.11pm Thursday (AEST) in just the second group off the first tee.

He will be joined by South African Dylan Frittelli and PGA club pro Larkin Gross.

Marc Leishman (9.27pm AEST), Adam Scott (9.38pm AEST) and Jason Scrivener (10.50pm) are the other Australians off on the opening morning.

Scott will play with England’s Tyrrell Hatton and American Rickie Fowler while Leishman’s quest for a maiden major begins alongside South African Garrick Higgo and England’s Paul Casey.

Scrivener, in just his second major championship, has drawn Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and club pro Stuart Smith.

Joining Day in the afternoon wave are Cameron Smith (3.36am Friday AEST), Lucas Herbert (4.26am Friday AEST) and Cameron Davis (4.31am Friday AEST).

Smith joins a pair of former US Open winners in American Gary Woodland and England’s Justin Rose while Herbert will play with Americans Brendon Todd and Tyler Collet.

Former Australian Open champion Davis, in just his second major, is in the second last group of the opening round with Americans Chris Kirk and Pete Ballo.

The marquee groups of the morning session start with 2012 champion Rory McIlroy, 2017 PGA champion Justin Thomas and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka at 10.33pm Thursday (AEST).

They are followed out by defending PGA Champion Collin Morikawa who will play with US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and recent Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama.

Jordan Spieth will begin his quest for a career Grand Slam at 3.58am Friday (AEST) with fellow Americans Will Zalatoris and Webb Simpson.

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