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July 30 2013

4:30 PM

Featured groups: WGC-Bridgestone

Pairings are out for the first two rounds of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, where Tiger Woods is seeking an eighth career victory in the event. He'll play alongside Hideki Matsuyama the first two days. Here's a closer look at who and what to watch for at Firestone (all times ET):

Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama: Woods, the top-ranked player in the world, is the de facto favorite at Firestone, though he hasn't won there since 2009. Matsuyama, the 21-year-old Japanese star, comes in having finished in the top 10 in each of the last two majors. They'll tee off at 9:20 a.m. Thursday and 1:10 p.m. Friday.

Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott: Johnson was tied for lead in Canada last week ... until he hit his tee shot out of bounds on the 71st hole and went on to make triple bogey. Scott, meanwhile, has been sensational, having won the Masters and been in contention at The Open Championship. He also won this tournament two years ago. They'll tee off at 9:30 a.m. Thursday and 1:20 p.m. Friday.

Graeme McDowell, Billy Horschel: Both won earlier this year but come into the week on a bit of a cool streak. For Horschel, this marks the first WGC event of his career. They'll tee off at 9:40 a.m. on Thursday and 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Lee Westwood, Webb Simpson: Westwood was the leader going into the final round of The Open Championship but left without the trophy again. Simpson has just one top 10 since April and is playing in his first WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. They'll tee off at 9:50 a.m. Thursday and 1:40 p.m. Friday.

Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler: Both have four top 10s this season. What's missing? A win. Sure to be one of the most popular pairs at Firestone, they'll tee off at 1:10 p.m. Thursday and 9:20 a.m. Friday.

Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedeker: This is the tournament where McIlroy turned his season around last year, leading to his record-setting PGA Championship win. Snedeker just won in Canada. They'll tee off at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and 9:40 a.m. Friday.

Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose: This pair won the last two Opens -- Mickelson the British and Rose the U.S. Rose was fifth at Firestone last year and in 2007 tied for second. Mickelson on the other hand won this event before it was under the WGC umbrella. They'll tee off at 1:40 p.m. Thursday and 9:50 a.m. Friday.

Matt Kuchar, Jason Day: Day has played big in big tournaments this season with top-three finishes in the Masters and U.S. Open. But he hasn't won. Kuchar, meanwhile, has won twice this year, including a WGC title. They'll tee off at 1:50 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday.

Luke Donald, Keegan Bradley: Donald missed the cut in his last two starts. Bradley is the defending champion. They'll tee off at 2 p.m. Thursday and 10:10 a.m. Friday.

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