Published July 16, 2012
| Sports Network
Lancashire, England – Tiger Woods will be playing with Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia during the opening two rounds of the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Additionally, Luke Donald was grouped with Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy, while Rory McIlroy's threesome includes Louis Oosthuizen and Keegan Bradley. Defending champion Darren Clarke will have Ernie Els and Zach Johnson playing alongside him at the season's third major.
Woods is a three-time Open champion and is in search of his first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open. He has won three times already this season, but followed up his first two victories with poor performances in the season's first two majors -- the Masters and U.S. Open.
Woods, whose most recent win came at the AT&T National on July 1, will be looking to keep that from becoming a trend when he tees off at 4:42 a.m. (et) on Thursday and 9:43 a.m. Friday. His playing partners, Rose and Garcia, have never won a major, but both have come close. Garcia tied for ninth at last year's British Open.
Another group of contenders includes Donald. Despite being the world No. 1, he missed the cut last year and is the only member of his threesome without a major title to his name.
Mickelson owns four major titles, none of which have come at the British Open -- though he did tie for second last year. The American has been struggling lately, but found some good form this past weekend at the Scottish Open. Ogilvy hasn't made the cut at the British Open since 2006, the year he won the U.S. Open.
Their group tees off at 9:43 a.m. Thursday and 4:31 a.m. Friday.
McIlroy headlines a group of young stars and major titlists. The 23-year-old Northern Irishman won the U.S. Open last year, and the 29-year-old Oosthuizen claimed the British Open in 2010 at St. Andrews. That was the same year the second-ranked McIlroy tied for third. Bradley, 26, was victorious at last year's PGA Championship in his first start at a major championship.
That threesome hits the course two spots before Mickelson's -- at 9:21 a.m. in round one and 4:09 for the second round.
Clarke broke through for his first major win last year at Royal St George's. He will be trying to take the Claret Jug home again while playing aside Els, a three-time major winner who earned the Open championship in 2002. Johnson is the 2007 Masters champion and is coming off a victory at the John Deere Classic this past weekend.
They will play at 4:09 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. for the first two rounds.
Other intriguing groups include world No. 3 Lee Westwood playing with Masters champion Bubba Watson and Yoshinori Fujimoto. Westwood is still in search of his first major title.
Additionally, two-time British Open champion Padraig Harrington will tee off with young American star Rickie Fowler and amateur Manuel Trappel. Three-time major champion Vijay Singh is grouped with Nick Watney and Ian Poulter.
The last time the British Open was played at Royal Lytham and St. Annes was 2001, when David Duval won the title. Duval is in the field this week, playing with Miguel Angel Jimenez and Raphael Jacquelin.
Play gets underway at 1:19 a.m. (et), when Barry Lane and James Driscoll tee off. The final group, consisting of Prayad Marksaeng, Justin Hicks and Ashley Hall, hits the course at 11:11 a.m.