Rory McIlroy has been paired with Tiger Woods for the first two rounds of this week’s Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
The duo, who have won 18 Majors between them, head out at 15.32 UK time alongside USPGA champion Justin Thomas.
I’m obviously looking forward to the next couple of days.
McIlroy started his season brightly with a third place in Abu Dhabi and a second at the Dubai Desert Classic, but missed the cut at Pebble Beach in his first start of 2018 on American soil.
Woods, meanwhile, posted an encouraging tied 23rd in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines – his first start in a full-field event in 12 months following injury.
“I started watching Tiger when he was winning his U.S. Amateurs back in ’95, ’96. So I’ve been a Tiger fan for the last 20 years,” said McIlroy.
“I think anyone that’s my age and even a little bit older or a little bit younger, you know, was inspired by him because of what he did on the golf course and how he approached the game. It’s cool to have been able to get to know him and call him a friend.
“Anytime you have a chance to play in a group like that, you sort of relish it and embrace it. I’m obviously looking forward to the next couple of days.”
Reflecting on his missed cut at Pebble Beach, the Northern Irishman said: “I had a bit of a wobble on the greens on Friday, but I don’t put that down to anything more than just the surfaces weren’t ideal and I let it get into my head a little bit.”
McIlroy is 12/1 to win the Genesis Open, while Woods is available at 45/1.
In their 1st Round 3 Ball, McIlroy is 6/5, with Thomas 6/4, and Woods 10/3.