Woods paired with fellow three-time winner in Akron


Tiger Woods will be paired with the only other three-time winner on the major men’s tours this year during the first two rounds of this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods will be grouped with South African Branden Grace, who opened some eyes with his three European Tour titles this season. Grace won the Joburg Open and Volvo Golf Champions in back-to-back starts in January and also won the Volvo China Open in April.

Woods and Grace will go off the first tee at 1:50 p.m. ET on Thursday and off the 10th tee at 10 a.m. ET on Friday. The event has a 78-man field size.

Complete WGC-Bridgestone Invitational tee times

In another notable pairings at Firestone Country Club, Keegan Bradley will go off with Jason Dufner in the first two rounds (Thursday, 9:50 a.m.; Friday, 1:40 p.m.). Bradley came from behind to beat Dufner down the stretch at the PGA Championship a year ago at Atlanta Athletic Club. The 2012 PGA Championship will be played next week at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

Also at Firestone, young international stars Rory McIlroy and Ryo Ishikawa will be paired for the first two rounds. British Open champ Ernie Els and Masters champ Bubba Watson are scheduled to play together. Adam Scott will make his return after losing the British Open two weeks ago with Matt Kuchar beside him on Thursday and Friday. Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald are paired, as are Rickie Fowler and Lee Westwood.