Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy And Justin Thomas Grouped Together At Genesis Invitational

The trio, who have 21 Major wins between them, will tee it up together as the tournament begins at Riviera Country Club

Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas at the 2018 Genesis Open
Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas will tee it up together in the first round of the Genesis Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger Woods makes his long-awaited return to PGA Tour action this week in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, and he’ll be getting his challenge under way alongside two of the players he is closest to.

The 47-year-old has been grouped with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas for the first two rounds, with a tee time of 3.04pm ET (8.04pm GMT) on Thursday. Along with Woods, World No.2 McIlroy has been one of the biggest supporters of the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf threat and the pair spearheaded a player-only meeting last year to determine a path forward for the Tour.

As for Thomas, the World No.7 is one of Woods’ best friends. The two were paired in December’s PNC Championship, too, as Woods played alongside his son Charlie and Thomas played with his dad, Mike. That was Woods’ most recent appearance in a tournament, but there is more at stake this week in a fully fledged PGA Tour event – and the second successive elevated one at that.

That status guarantees the tournament a high-quality field, along with a purse of $20m, and as if to highlight just how prestigious this year’s event is, the trio have 21 Major wins between them.

Woods’ group is not the only attractive one for Thursday’s opening round. World No.3 Jon Rahm is grouped with the man two places beneath him in the world rankings, Patrick Cantlay, and World No.11 Viktor Hovland. That group gets the tournament under way at 10.24am ET (3.24pm GMT).

Elsewhere, new World No.1 Scottie Scheffler, who reclaimed the position after winning last week’s WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, is grouped with World No.9 Collin Morikawa and World No.16 Jordan Spieth with a tee time of 3.15pm ET (8.15pm GMT). Meanwhile, another group packed with talent is the one featuring recent Farmers Insurance Open winner Max Homa, World No.15 Tom Kim and World No.16 Xander Schauffele, with a tee time of 10.46am ET (3.46pm GMT).

Realistically, though, most of the attention will fall on the group featuring Woods as his game comes under scrutiny once again following a disjointed 2022 when his competitive action was limited to just three of the four Majors

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.