For a second year running, Rory McIlroy finds himself grouped with Tiger Woods for the opening two rounds of the 2019 Genesis Open at Pacific Palisades in suburban L. A.
It will the eighth occasion Woods and McIlroy will tee-up alongside each other in a PGA Tour event and between 2012 and last year’s Genesis Open second round the duo have played alongside each other in 13 rounds.
In those 13 rounds Woods has posted a better head-to-head score in six rounds while McIlroy has finished in front in the last five including scores of 71 and 69 a year ago to Woods who posted rounds of 72 and 76. Two of the 13 rounds were even.
A year ago, McIlroy reacted to the grouping smiling in saying: “I would not have minded a nice quiet couple of days, Thursday, Friday, but no, no, it’s totally fine playing with Tiger.”
“Like, 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.”
When play got underway McIlroy and Woods combined to produce a Hollywood golfing ‘soapie’.
Between them there were the 36-hole highs and lows of a McIlroy eagle (day one), 14 birdies, 18 bogeys and a double-bogey when Woods sent crowds ducking in losing a bull in a towering eucalyptus tree down the right-side of the 11th hole.
Joining Woods and McIlroy in one of the brightest groups for the first two days on the Riviera Country Club course is Justin Thomas.
McIlroy will be joined in this week’s $7.4m event by fellow Irishman Seamus Power who will be looking to alter his luck after a series of missed cuts at the start of the season.