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Tiger Woods Paired with Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas for 2023 Genesis Invitational

Joseph Zucker

If you're planning to attend or watch the Genesis Invitational, there's one group that will demand your attention.

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas were grouped together for the first two rounds of the event. They'll tee off Thursday at 3:04 p.m. ET and Friday at 10:24 a.m. ET.

This will be Woods' first PGA Tour event since he missed the cut at last year's Open Championship. The legend isn't letting his relatively long layoff lower his expectations at Riviera Country Club.

Woods was unable to play in a single event in 2021 due to his car crash that February. His injuries from the accident were so bad that doctors were concerned his right leg might need to be amputated.

The 47-year-old made his return at the 2022 Masters, finishing 47th at Augusta National Golf Club. He entered the PGA Championship last May but withdrew after three rounds before his forgettable trip to St Andrews last July.

Even before his crash, Woods was fighting a losing battle with Father Time. All the wear and tear he had put on his body over the years was catching up to him. The accident only exacerbated the situation.

In November, Woods withdrew from the Hero World Challenge, the event he helps to host in the Bahamas, because of plantar fasciitis. He explained the injury was connected to his recovery from the 2021 crash. In addition, he had undergone two other surgical procedures within the last year.

Plenty of fans will be following Woods' every move at the Genesis Invitational. Few will expect him to come out on top. If he can simply get through all four rounds, then it could bode well for his availability across the PGA Tour's 2023 calendar.


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