Tiger Woods will be grouped with Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose for the opening two rounds at the British Open as he seeks his first major golf championship since 2008.
Woods, a 36-year-old from the U.S.; Garcia, of Spain; and Rose, from England, have a 9:42 a.m. local tee time on July 19 to open the four-day tournament at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England. The time is five hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.
England’s Luke Donald, who leads the Official World Golf Ranking, will be grouped with American Phil Mickelson and Australian Geoff Ogilvy at 2:43 p.m. Donald has never won a major title, while Mickelson, a four-time major champion, had his best finish at the British Open last year, when he tied for second.
Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, who won the tournament last year at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, will be grouped with Ernie Els of South Africa and Zach Johnson of the U.S. at 9:09 a.m. Johnson won the U.S. PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in a playoff yesterday.
American Bubba Watson, who won the Masters Tournament in April, begins play with Lee Westwood of England and Yoshinori Fujimoto of Japan at 9:20 a.m.
Westwood, the No. 3 ranked golfer, also is seeking his first major title, as is Garcia and Rose. Woods has won 14 majors, second to Jack Nicklaus’s 18.
Woods leads the U.S. Tour’s FedEx Cup standings with three wins this season. His last major title came in a 2008 U.S. Open playoff win over Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines near San Diego.
Woods, ranked fourth in the world, is the 7-1 favorite to win his fourth British Open title at William Hill Plc (WMH), followed by Westwood at 14-1. That means a successful $100 bet on Westwood to earn his first major title would net $1,400.
American Webb Simpson, who won the U.S. Open last month, is skipping the British Open because his wife is expecting their second child.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, the world’s second-ranked golfer, is grouped with South African Louis Oosthuizen and American Keegan Bradley at 2:21 p.m.
American David Duval was the last golfer to win the British Open at Royal Lytham, in 2001. Duval is grouped with Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez at 7:47 a.m.
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