Kaufman grouped with Moore, Na in Vegas

The PGA Tour returns to the U.S. this week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Here’s a quick look at some marquee early-round groupings in Las Vegas (all times ET):

10:35 a.m. Thursday/3:25 p.m. Friday: Scott Piercy, Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel

Piercy is a Vegas resident and is already making his fourth start of the new wraparound season, which he began with a T-3 finish at the Safeway Open. He’ll be joined by Koepka, whose last States-side performance came at the Ryder Cup, and Horschel, a former FedEx Cup champ who hasn’t teed it up since the BMW Championship in September.

10:45 a.m. Thursday/3:35 p.m. Friday: Brendan Steele, Jimmy Walker, Graeme McDowell

Steele won the season-opening event in Napa and followed it with a T-26 finish in Malaysia. He’ll be joined by a pair of major champions in Walker, who has Vegas ties in both sponsorship and swing coach Butch Harmon, and McDowell, who is preparing to make a title defense next week in Mexico.

3:25 p.m. Thursday/10:35 a.m. Friday: Charley Hoffman, Davis Love III, Webb Simpson

This group features one Vegas alum with a pair of guys from ACC country. Hoffman helped UNLV win an NCAA title in 1998 and he has finished sixth or better three times at TPC Summerlin since 2006. Having completed his duties as Ryder Cup captain, Love will make his first start since withdrawing from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August. Rounding out the trio will be Simpson, whose win here in 2013 remains his most recent PGA Tour victory.

3:35 p.m. Thursday/10:45 a.m. Friday: Smylie Kaufman, Ryan Moore, Kevin Na

Kaufman was a surprise winner here a year ago, firing a final-round 61 to secure his first PGA Tour win, and he’ll begin his title defense alongside a pair of former champs who call Vegas home. Moore starred at UNLV before winning at TPC Summerlin in 2012, while Na’s Vegas triumph in 2011 remains the lone victory of an otherwise decorated career.