Tiger Woods draws Fred Couples, Keegan Bradley at 2013 Memorial

USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods hopes to back-to-back at the Memorial, and he could not have chosen a more comfortable playing partner to kick-start to his week than good friend and Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples

Tiger Woods will stroll the fairways of Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village Golf Club with good pal and Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples for the first two rounds of this week’s Memorial Tournament.

Woods will take aim at his sixth Memorial title, fifth win in eight PGA Tour starts this season, and 79th tour victory overall starting Thursday at 1:16 p.m. ET off the first tee with Couples and 2011 PGA champ Keegan Bradley. Woods drew Couples for his Thursday and Friday rounds last year and got off to a 70-69 start on his way to an eventual two-shot victory at 9-under.

The trio will tee off on No. 10 at 8:26 a.m. in Friday’s second round.

The marquee threesome is one of several star-studded groupings in a 120-player event that has drawn eight of the top 10 golfers in the world (click here for all tee times), many of whom will return to Muirfield in the fall for the Presidents Cup. Couples will lead his corps of 12 U.S. players against their International counterparts in the 10th biennial match-play meet that will take place from October 3-6.

A pair of anchored putters, Adam Scott and Ernie Els, will join Charl Schwartzel in another group featuring former (2011) and potentially future International Presidents Cup teammates. Scott has three top-10 finishes in six tour starts this year, including, of course, his Masters victory in April. Els won the Memorial in 2004.

Rory McIlroy, playing with Bubba Watson and Justin Rose, looks to put a missed cut at last week’s BMW PGA Championship behind him and find last year’s winning form that has eluded him so far in 2013. Despite the MC from the European Tour's flagship tourney, McIlroy has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four PGA Tour contests, while Watson’s most recent top-10 finish was in February at the match-play championship.

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