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Devil Ball Golf

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy paired together at Barclays

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Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

If you can't make it to a TV next week to catch the first two rounds of the Barclays, you may want to at least set the DVR, after Rory McIlroy assured himself a pairing with Tiger Woods over the first two days at Bethpage Black, thanks to his eight-shot win at the PGA Championship.

Woods and McIlroy are the two most significant golf forces in the world at the moment, and for a sport that's been dying for a rivalry of some sort in the last couple of years, getting to at least see the top two players in the world go at it in the same group should add some buzz to the opening event of the FedExCup Playoffs.

"When [Rory] gets it going, it's pretty impressive to watch," Woods said, following McIlroy's decisive win.

Over the course of their careers, everyone has tried like hell to force the Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods rivalry, jamming a square peg into a round hole in an effort to give the sport a legitimate rivalry that could come close to Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. But the rivalry never amounted to anything. One was always playing at an incredibly high level when the other was toiling in mediocrity.

There's no telling if the McIlroy-Woods rivalry will turn into anything -- they played earlier this season at Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and both shot 5-under over the first two rounds -- but the fact that we get to see them on a big stage, even if it's not a major championship, is good for the game.

If anything, the pairing will get people excited about the FedExCup Playoffs, an event that's failed to live up to the season-long hype over the years. Will a McIlroy-Woods pairing fix the playoffs? Probably not. However, it should get people talking about the first two rounds of the Barclays. Any way you look at it, that's a exactly what you want at your marquee events.

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