Watson, Simpson, Els paired

Updated: August 4, 2012, 10:10 AM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

Keegan Bradley will begin defense of his PGA Championship title alongside past champions Tiger Woods and Martin Kaymer on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, S.C.

This year's major champions Bubba Watson (Masters), Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (Open Championship) make up another threesome for the first two rounds. They begin play at 1:20 p.m.

There are three other sets of past PGA champions making up threesomes during the first two days.

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love will play alongside Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington; while Shaun Micheel, David Toms and John Daly will make up another group; and there is Vijay Singh, Y.E. Yang and Rich Beem.

Other notable groupings are: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk; Lee Westwood, Angel Cabrera and Bill Haas; No. 1 Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson.

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal is in the field and is the only participant who also played in the 1991 Ryder Cup won by the U.S. at Kiawah.

Play begins at 7:20 a.m. Thursday and each of the top 108 players in this week's Official World Golf Ranking at this point are set to play.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com