Tiger Speaks: Won't play Par-3 contest, groupings released

Four-time Masters champion, 64-time PGA Tour winner and world No. 1 Tiger Woods will again skip the Wednesday Par-3 contest, he said in his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.
"It's changed over the years," Woods said. "It's a little bit distracting to [play the Par 3 and] try to get ready for the tournament."
Woods said Augusta was playing a little softer and slower than he's used to. Asked whether he envisions another player laying up on all the par-5s and winning, as Johnson did last year, Woods said, "It could happen this year. As wet as it is and as cool as it is, the ball's not flying. Guys are hitting wood into 18."
Also today, the groupings and tee times for the first two rounds were released. Woods will tee off with Stuart Appleby and the U.S. Open champion, Angel Cabrera, at 10:45 a.m. Thursday. In other featured threesomes, Phil Mickelson will play with K.J. Choi and Andres Romero at 1:41 p.m., and Ernie Els will go off with Jim Furyk and Shingo Katayama at 1:52 p.m. Defending champion Zach Johnson will not be joined by U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost, who turned pro and thus made himself ineligible for the usual Masters invite. Instead Johnson will tee off with Luke Donald and Geoff Ogilvy at 10:23 a.m.
Read and watch Tiger's complete press conference here.

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by Kevin Cunningham