Tiger Time is 1:52 p.m. Thursday

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- World No. 1 Tiger
Woods will launch his bid for a 15th major title in the company
of fellow American Stewart Cink and Indian Jeev Milkha Singh at
this week's Masters.

A four-time winner of the year's opening major, Woods is
scheduled to tee off at 1: 52 p.m. ET in Thursday's
opening round at Augusta National Golf Club.

"There is a lot of excitement for the first major tournament
of the year," Woods, 33, said Tuesday.

"I feel good about my game and had good practice sessions
with [swing coach] Hank Haney. I didn't work on anything
specific; just did a lot of fine-tuning."

Woods will be competing in his first Grand Slam event since
winning the U.S. Open in a playoff with Rocco Mediate
at Torrey Pines in June.

He was then sidelined for eight months while recovering from
reconstructive knee surgery. He has already triumphed once in
just three starts since returning to the PGA Tour.

"The preparation, the feeling that I have right now, it
feels the same," said Woods, who clinched his 66th Tour title at
the Arnold Palmer Invitational nine days ago.

"I was surprised at how fast I got the feeling back. Coming
here, it feels the same, just like any other major

Twice Masters champion Phil Mickelson has been drawn with
fellow American Jim Furyk and Colombian Camilo Villegas for the
first two rounds. They start at 10:45 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Vijay Singh, who won the 2000 Masters, will tee off
with Australian world No. 4 Geoff Ogilvy and South African
Ernie Els at 10:23 a.m., two groups in front of Mickelson's group.

British Open champion Padraig Harrington, who will be
bidding for a rare third consecutive major victory this week,
has a 10:34 a.m. start with 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir of Canada
and Japan's Ryuji Imada.

Spanish world No. 3 Sergio Garcia has been grouped
with Australian Stuart Appleby and Britain's Oliver Wilson. They
tee off in the penultimate group at 10:56 a.m.

First off, following a ceremonial tee shot by golfing great
Arnold Palmer, will be 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam and
Americans Chez Reavie and Briny Baird.