Masters 2012: Watch Live Stream Online, Tee-Off Times, Preview Of Thursday's Play At Augusta

 @JasonLeMiere
on April 04 2012 11:33 PM

When and Where: The 2012 Masters gets underway from the Augusta National Golf Club with the first pairing teeing-off at 7.50 a.m. ET. Live streaming coverage will be provided on Masters.com. A live stream will also be available via ESPN3.

Notable Tee-Off Times:

The honorary starters this year will be Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

8.45 a.m. Australian Adam Scott, tied for second last year, tees-off alongside world No. 6 Martin Kaymer and American Bo van Pelt.

10.24 a.m. 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel gets underway alongside Keegan Bradley and amateur Kelly Kraft.

10.35 a.m. Tiger Woods begins his 2012 Masters paired with Miguel Angel Jiminez and Sang-Moon Bae.

10.46 a.m. World No. 1 Luke Donald tees-off along with former Ryder Cup team mate Francesco Molinari and American Nick Watney.

12.58 p.m. Former Masters winner Vijay Singh begins alongside World No. 3 Lee Westwood and former US Open winner Jim Furyk.

1.42 p.m. Rory McIlroy gets his challenge underway paired with 2009 champion Angel Cabrera and American Bubba Watson.

1.53 p.m. The final pairing of the day sees three-time winner Phil Mickelson tee-off alongside world No. 4 Hunter Mahan and Sweden's Peter Hanson.

Preview: Arguably the highlight of the golfing year, the Masters tees-off at Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday.

The 76th edition of the historic tournament is perhaps the most anticipated in many a year with all the ingredients in place to make it a classic golfing, and indeed sporting, spectacle.

One of the greatest players the world of golf has known, Tiger Woods, is on the comeback trail and seeking his first Green Jacket since 2005. Once the dominant player and personality in the sport, it had appeared that the 14-time major winner would eclipse Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors with ease.

But a much-publicized personal and subsequently professional meltdown soon saw experts questioning whether Woods would ever win again.

Then came the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill two weeks ago. The iconic former world No. 1 changed the golfing landscape once again by claiming his first PGA Tour title since 2009 with a five-stroke victory.

Suddenly Woods was not only relevant on the fairways again, but immediately thrust into the position of favorite for the first major of the year.

It says something about the ability of Woods that one victory has transformed him into the man to beat. Yet, whether he is ready for such a billing will be decided over the 72 holes at Augusta.

One man who is sure to have something to say about Woods returning to dominate the sport is Northern-Irish sensation Rory McIlroy. While Woods has demons of his past three years to exorcise, McIlroy too will be looking to overcome the disturbing memories of what transpired for him on the final day of last year's Masters.

Talked about as the new poster-boy of Golf heading into Sunday's play last year, Mcllroy let a four-stroke lead slip in the final round, as he shot an 80.

It was the kind of meltdown that could define a career. The sort of disappointment that can linger on the mind and cause such mental scarring that a player is unable to fully realize their physical potential.

McIlroy went out and won the US Open by eight shots with a record low score just two months later.

The 22-year-old is special and this week could possibly see one of the great rivalries in sport, between him and Woods come to fruition.

It is a rivalry that has everything a good sporting duel can possibly muster up. A former great, fallen on hard times but now ready to reclaim his place at the top and a young, confident pretender eager to assume the mantle as the sport's flag bearer.

The Ali versus Foreman of the golfing world, if you like.

If it is to be Woods and McIlroy together on the back nine on Sunday, it would be made all the more special because golf is a sport that rarely conforms to the script.

And that is why there are a host of other players who go into this year's Masters with the belief that they could be pulling on that Green Jacket in the famed Butler Cabin on Sunday evening.

World No. 1 Luke Donald will be seeking the widespread recognition that would finally arrive with his first major. And then there is Phil Mickelson, who will believe that he is in with a shot of claiming his fourth masters and first major since winning in Augusta in 2010.

There are young contenders, too, seeking to stake their claim among the world's elite with a first Green jacket. Though flying largely under the radar, Hunter Mahan enters the tournament as the top-ranked American and is also the only player to have won twice on the PGA Tour so far this year.

And don't count out Keegan Bradley either. The 25-year-old maybe playing in his first Masters, but his performance in winning last year's PGA Championship means he too could be a threat

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