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Genesis Invitational: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy in different groups

Image: Rory McIlroy finished tied-fourth at Riviera in 2019

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have been kept apart in the draw for the opening two rounds of the Genesis Invitational.

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The pair have been grouped together the previous two years at Riviera Country Club, with Justin Thomas previously completing the marquee threeball, but McIlroy has been replaced for this year's contest by American Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker.

McIlroy, making his first appearance since returning to world No 1, instead goes out alongside Patrick Cantlay and Dustin Johnson, who cruised to a five-shot victory at the event in 2017.

Image: McIlroy, Woods and Thomas played together for the first two rounds in 2018 and 2019

Woods' appearance in California is his latest chance to claim a record-breaking 83rd PGA Tour victory, at where he made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old in 1992.

The tournament host - who has posted top-10 finishes in his last three PGA Tour starts - has made more appearances at the event without a win than any other in his career, with this week's visit his 14th attempt to claim an elusive Riviera victory.

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Ahead of Tiger Woods' latest bid for a history-making 83rd PGA Tour title, we take a look back highlights from his previous victories

FedExCup leader Thomas searches for a third win of the season, a year on from squandering a four-shot lead to JB Holmes on the final day of the 2019 contest, while playing partner Stricker makes his 500th PGA Tour start.

Holmes begins his title defence alongside Justin Rose and Jon Rahm, one of three players who can end the week as world No 1, with three-time Genesis champion Bubba Watson going out alongside Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson.

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Koepka makes his first PGA Tour appearance since withdrawing mid-tournament at the CJ Cup in October, with the four-time major champion starting the year with tied-34th and tied-17th finishes on the European Tour.

Watch the Genesis Invitational throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Thursday from 2.45pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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