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Rory and Tiger tee off together in group sure to excite the crowd

By Adam McKendry

Rory McIlroy has been grouped with former World No.1 Tiger Woods and reigning FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas for the first two rounds of the Genesis Open in Los Angeles.

The Ulsterman, now ranked 10th in the world, is in undoubtedly one of the marquee groups for the event which starts tomorrow at Riviera Country Club.

McIlroy and Thomas are the last two winners of the FedEx Cup, the PGA Tour's Order of Merit, while 14-time Major winner Woods of course needs little introduction.

Woods is still on his way back from injury and will play in only his second event of the season after showing promising signs in his ninth-placed finish at the Hero World Challenge.

McIlroy, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from a disappointing finish in his first PGA Tour start of the year last week when he missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The 28-year-old had an excellent stretch in the Middle East on the European Tour when recording two top-three finishes in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, however he is yet to bring that form across the Atlantic to the States.

With the first Major of the year, The Masters, just under two months away, now is the time for McIlroy to start building up his game if he wishes to complete the career Grand Slam this year.

In some of the other marquee groupings for the first two rounds of the Genesis Open, England's Tommy Fleetwood will tee off alongside Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar, while World No.1 Dustin Johnson is with Adam Scott and Bubba Watson.

Belfast Telegraph

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