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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his tee shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Valero Texas Open. Image Credit: AFP

Augusta: The two top-ranked golfers in the world, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, have been paired together for the opening two rounds of the Masters, Augusta National announced on Tuesday.

Northern Irishman McIlroy, the world No 2, is looking to complete the career grand slam this week by claiming the green jacket that has eluded him so far in his career.

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Scottie Scheffler of the United States hits his shot from the second tee during a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club on Tuesday. Image Credit: AFP

Top-ranked Scheffler tasted success at Augusta in 2022 and arrives on a hot streak after wins last month at the Arnold Palmer Championship and The Players Championship and a runner-up effort at the Houston Open.

The pair are joined by Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele, who has yet to win a major championship but finished tied for second in the Masters in 2019.

The trio will tee off at 10.42 am local on Thursday, just minutes after defending champion Jon Rahm will begin his bid.

Rahm will play with England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, the 2022 US Open champion and American Nick Dunlap, who turned professional earlier this year after winning the American Express tournament on the PGA Tour in January.

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Tiger Woods of the United States reacts on the eighth hole during a practice round prior to the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Image Credit: AFP

Tiger Woods, a 15-time major winner, will make his 26th start at the Masters alongside Australian Jason Day and American Max Homa.

Immediately following McIlroy and Scheffler’s group will be a talented trio of reigning US Open champion Wyndham Clark, 2022 British Open champion Cameron Smith of Australia and Norwegian Viktor Hovland.