NASSAU, BAHAMAS – NOVEMBER 30: Justin Thomas of the United States and Tiger Woods of the United States shake hands after finishing on the 18th green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Alex Myers
All eyes will be on Tiger Woods at Riviera this week, but that doesn’t mean golf fans won’t also be watching the other two players in his group on Thursday and Friday at the Genesis Open.
Woods will be paired with Rory McIlroy and reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas. The star-studded threesome has combined to win 19 major championships. But crazy enough, McIlroy and Thomas were only a combined 28 years old the last time Tiger teed it up at Riviera in 2006.
Tiger has been somewhat of a mentor to both players throughout their young careers. Thomas even celebrated his PGA Championship victory last year at Woods’ restaurant. Woods and Thomas played together twice in the recent Hero World Challenge with Woods edging the young star by a shot in those two rounds.
Woods made his PGA Tour debut at Riviera when he was 16, failing to make the cut. The course is one of the few he’s played multiple times in his career without a win. Woods WD in 2006 after rounds of 69 and 74. He pulled out prior to last year’s tournament after re-injuring his back at a tournament in Dubai and wound up undergoing a fourth back surgery in April.
Woods returned to competition with a T-9 at the Hero World Challenge Nov. 31-Dec. 3. He made the first official PGA Tour start of his latest comeback two weeks ago at Torrey Pines, where he finished T-23 at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The threesome will tee off on Riviera’s 10th hole on Thursday at 10:22 ET (7.22pm UAE time) and off No. 1 at 3:02 ET on Friday (12.2am Saturday UAE time).