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McIlroy/Woods grouping highlights Abu Dhabi field

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy
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Many of the game's best are playing on the European Tour this week, as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship hosts an elite field that will include the top two players in the world, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods – who by sheer coincidence will be grouped together for the first two rounds of play.

While you can see a full list of tee times here, below are a handful of featured pairings to keep an eye on during the first and second rounds (all times local, which is nine hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time):

7:40 a.m./12:05 p.m.: Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer

The two biggest draws in the event find themselves grouped together, as McIlroy and Woods will walk the fairways for the first time this week as Nike brethren. They will be joined by another major winner in Kaymer, whose record at this event is unparalleled: three wins and a runner-up finish during a four-year stretch from 2008-2011.

11:55 a.m./7:40 a.m.: Peter Hanson, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie

This group combines three Europeans who turned in some of the most pleasantly surprising seasons of 2012. Hanson contended at The Masters and went on to win twice on the European Tour, while Harrington and Lawrie both rekindled the form that led them to a combined four major championships. All three will be looking to pick up in Abu Dhabi where they left off at the end of last season.

12:05 p.m./7:50 a.m: Robert Rock, Ernie Els, Justin Rose

Rock returns to Abu Dhabi as defending champion, having outlasted both Woods and McIlroy last year. He will be joined by the reigning Open champion in Els and with Rose, who will be making his first appearance at Abu Dhabi to begin a 2013 season filled with lofty expectations for the Englishman.

12:25 p.m./8:10 a.m.: Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Matteo Manassero

The two most recent European Ryder Cup captains are grouped together for the first two rounds. Montgomerie (2010) and Olazabal (2012) are joined by the young Italian Manassero, who hopes 2013 will begin a path that will end with his first career Ryder Cup berth next year.