Rory McIlroy ready to embrace hype of pairing with Tiger Woods at Riviera
Rory McIlroy says the hype he will have to deal with as he plays with Tiger Woods on the first two days at this week's Genesis Open will be worth it.
Woods continues his comeback with his second tournament after his long injury lay-off while McIlroy is looking for a first win in 16 months.
USPGA holder Justin Thomas also plays with the duo at 15:22 GMT on Thursday.
"Anytime you have a chance to play in a group like that you relish it and embrace it," said McIlroy.
The Northern Irishman missed the third-round cut as he returned to the PGA Tour at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week, with his second round including a five-putt.
McIlroy picked up a new putter on Monday and hopes for better form on the greens in Los Angeles.
"I had a bit of wobble on the greens on Friday but I didn't put that down to anything more than just surfaces weren't ideal and I let it get into my head a little bit," added McIlroy, who moved back into the top 10 in the world rankings after a runner-up finish in the Dubai Desert Classic in January.
"Results wise last week at least wasn't what I wanted but I still saw a lot of good stuff in there."
McIlroy is hoping it's on display again amid the hoopla surrounding Woods - who will draw massive, often restless galleries.
While the constant movement and noise can be a distraction, McIlroy said he didn't mind.
"I would rather be in this group than not," added the former world number one.
"Whenever you get a chance to play alongside one of your heroes it's always nice."