Dustin Johnson to tee off with McIlroy, as Garcia returns at Sawgrass


World number one Dustin Johnson will form part of a star-studded pairing with Rory McIlroy for the first two rounds of the Players Championship, while Sergio Garcia plays for the first time since his Masters triumph.

McIlroy has also not played competitively since Augusta last month, during which time he married long-term girlfriend Erica Stoll, and the Northern Irishman is looking for a first win at the tournament - dubbed golf's 'fifth major'.

Johnson was forced to sit out at Augusta after a heavy fall left him with an injured back, but he made his return to the PGA Tour at last week's Wells Fargo Championship.

The American finished one shot adrift of champion Brian Harman and narrowly missed out on a fourth straight title in as many starts.

Justin Thomas is the third man joining the world's best two players at TPC Sawgrass, with the trio teeing off at 1.52PM local time on Thursday.

Garcia ended his long wait for a maiden major triumph by overcoming Justin Rose in a thrilling final-day tussle at Augusta, and the 2008 Players Championship victor partners two other past champions in Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott.

Jason Day has not won a tournament since his victory here 12 months ago, and he is also in esteemed company alongside Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson, the respective 2015 and 2009 winners.