Should Tiger Woods' back limber up before the start of the WGC-Cadillac Championship Thursday, he will play the first round alongside the two players closest to him in the world ranking.
Woods is slated to begin his first round at 12:39 p.m. ET Thursday, alongside world No. 2 Adam Scott and reigning FedEx Cup champ Henrik Stenson, currently third in the world.
Woods enters this week as the event's defending champion, but was forced to withdraw from the Honda Classic after 13 holes Sunday because of back spasms.
This event will mark the first time in months that Woods' top spot in the rankings will be up for grabs. Based on unofficial projections, Scott can become the top-ranked player in the world with a win this week at Trump Doral, assuming Woods finishes somewhere outside the top 5-7.
Each of the top 24 players in the world will be grouped Thursday in order based on their world ranking. As a result, world No. 4 Jason Day will make his first start since winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship alongside Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, who will look to bounce back from Sunday's disappointing playoff loss at PGA National. The trio will tee off at 11:44 a.m. Thursday.
The other threesome consisting entirely of players ranked inside the top 10 will begin play at 12:28 p.m. Thursday and includes Justin Rose, Zach Johnson and Sergio Garcia. Rose has missed three scheduled starts this year while battling tendinitis in his right shoulder, while Johnson and Garcia both already have a win under their belts in 2014.
- Will Gray, Golf Channel