Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy grouped together in Dubai

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will play together in Dubai this week. (USATSI)
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will play together in Dubai this week. (USATSI)

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In the least surprising development of the 2014 golf year so far Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be group together for the first two rounds of the Dubai Desert Classic this week.

The two will be joined by 2013 champion Stephen Gallacher and will tee off at 11:05 PM Eastern on Wednesday (8:05 AM Thursday in Dubai).

McIlroy is returning to the site of his first professional win five years ago and Woods will play the tournament for the second time in four years (he finished T20 in 2011).

This is obviously the featured group, and the reason most folks will come out to the tournament (or watch on TV), but there are also some other intriguing pairings.

Peter Uihlein, Branden Grace, and Richard Sterne (10:55 PM) -- Solid group with two strong youngsters in Grace and Uihlein.

Jamie Donaldson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, and Matteo Manassero (11:15 PM) -- Two golfers (Donaldson and Manassero) inside the top 50 and all three in the top 100.

Thomas Bjorn, Ernie Els, and Henrik Stenson (3:25 AM) -- Two probably Ryder Cup golfers in Stenson and Bjorn and a guy in Els who just played the Presidents Cup. This is the group I'd follow.

Scott Jamieson, John Daly, and Raphael Jacquelin (3:45 AM) -- Just because Daly is in it. Speaking of him, do you think Daly and Jacquelin will have a lot in common to talk about?

All times Eastern

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CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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