DORAL, Fla. — Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy are the top three players in the world golf rankings, which assures them of absolutely nothing this week.

Doral hasn’t been overly kind to any of them. Spieth has been over par in five of his eight rounds there over the last two years, Day has posted two rounds in the 60s in his last 16 attempts at the Blue Monster, and McIlroy casually tossed his 3-iron into the water after a bad shot last year, a fairly strong indicator of how he would assess his play.

Yet they’ll have the bulk of the attention Thursday when they’ll be in the same group at the opening round of the Cadillac Championship, the first of the four World Golf Championships.

“Everyone’s fighting for the same prize,” Spieth said. “When we get out there, we’re playing our own game. I don’t think any of us are buying into any added motivation or excitement because of the pairing. I don’t think we would at any point. Not trying to downplay it but for me personally, I would say it’s going to be a lot of fun … but I don’t think any of us are buying into the ‘Big Three.’ “

Spieth’s last outing was a rare-for-him missed cut at Riviera. Day was tied for 11th at Pebble Beach in his most recent event, and McIlroy missed the cut last week at the Honda Classic. It’s their first time being in the same tournament since September.

“I’ve played a lot with Jason and a lot with Jordan over the past few years, but we haven’t really played much together in a three-ball,” McIlroy said. “So the next two days are going to be enjoyable. It will be good out there, hopefully a little bit of buzz around that group, very much looking forward to that.”

Buzz won’t be in short supply this week. The winners of the last 13 majors are in the field, Dustin Johnson is back to defend the title he won at Doral a year ago when he overtook J.B. Holmes in the final round and it’s all going to play out on a course owned by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump – who is expected to appear at some point before the final putt drops Sunday.

Tiger Woods can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He just does not know how close he is to reaching it. The only thing he can measure for sure is his feeling about playing golf on tour.

“I miss being out there,” he said Wednesday. “I miss being with the dudes.”

At least, he said, his surgically repaired back and his outlook are better than they were during a news conference in December, when he acknowledged that all he could do was play video games. At the time, he said, “Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel? I don’t know.”

On Wednesday, at a news conference marking the opening of The Playgrounds, a 10-hole course he designed at Bluejack National outside of Houston, he said that his mindset is “a heck of a lot better than then.” The 14-time major champion still is frustrated about having no idea when he will be able to play tournament golf again, but he believes that day will come.

“The one thing I do know is I am progressing, I’m getting better. I’m getting stronger. And I’ve just had to take it day by day,” he said.