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Five groups to follow at the 2014 Honda Classic

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

Tiger Woods is gearing up for Thursday's Honda Classic.
Tiger Woods is gearing up for Thursday's Honda Classic. (Getty Images)

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The PGA Tour kicks off its Florida swing Thursday in Palm Beach Gardens for the Honda Classic. Here are five groups to keep an eye on Thursday and Friday.

1. Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson -- Typically, people don't need much added incentive to follow Tiger. But Woods, who hasn't played since the Farmers Insurance Open, has never won the Honda Classic -- a rarity given Woods' almost-universal success. Bradley and Johnson, the latter of whom started the season white hot, both lost in the first round of last week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

2. Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel -- McIlroy won this tournament two years ago, but he didn't give himself a chance to repeat, withdrawing after eight holes because his teeth hurt. Scott is back on the course after a six-week hiatus, while Horschel, too, looks to bounce back from a first round exit -- albeit at the hands of eventual champion, Jason Day -- at last week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

3. Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Rickie Fowler -- Fowler hasn't exactly been a model of consistency, but he's played well lately and performed well historically in this tournament. McDowell, too, has played well at the Honda, while Mickelson, ironically, will be the one of these three with the least amount of experience in this event. He hasn't played the Honda since '02.

4. Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald -- Donald won this event in '06, though it was played at a different course. Stenson is looking to build on his FedEx Cup championship year of 2013, while we'll see if Garcia continues his American goodwill tour after conceding a 17-foot putt to Rickie Fowler at last week's match play championships.

5. Michael Thompson, Lee Westwood, Robert Allenby -- It may come as a surprise, but last year's winner at the Honda Classic came out of this group, and it's not Westwood. Or Allenby. It's Thompson, who got his first and only PGA Tour win a year ago in this event. As for Westwood, Thursday will mark just the second round he's played since firing his swing coach, Sean Foley.

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