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The Barclays 2012 Preview: Tiger Woods And Rory McIlroy In Same Pairing

Two of the most high-profile golfers in the world will be teeing off at the same time as the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin.

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Former Georgia golfer Bubba Watson will try to wrap up an enormously successful 2012 season when the Barclays, the first tournament of the FedEx Cup playoffs, tees off on Thursday.

The tournament will be held at Bethpage State Park, which hosted the 2009 U.S. Open. The U.S. Open typically picks courses based on their degree of difficulty, so the FedEx Cup golfers should be tested this week.

Tiger Woods hasn't won a major this year, but he has made a return to the upper echelon of the golfing world. By virtue of his three PGA Tour victories this season, he comes into the Barclays as the No. 1-ranked player on the tour.

He'll have a high-profile playing partner as well, as he will be paired with Rory McIlroy, who is coming off a victory at the PGA Championship. McIlroy has been compared to a young Tiger Woods, so their play will be closely watched in the first two days.

For more coverage of Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and the Barclays, stay tuned to the SB Nation golf hub.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.