Tee times, pairings announced for 146th Open Championship

17 July, 2017, 23:38 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Tommy Fleetwood

Former British Open victor Tony Jacklin borrowed a remark made famous by an erstwhile prime minister when he looked ahead to this week's Royal Birkdale major and declared that English golf had "never had it so good".

Sweden's Henrik Stenson won the tournament a year ago in historic fashion, scoring the lowest final round by a victor of The Open, and setting a new 72-hole Championship record of twenty-under-par.

Twelve Englishmen now occupy a place in the top 100 of the world rankings, led by former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose at number 12, the in-form Tommy Fleetwood at 14 and the Arizona-based Paul Casey at 16.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson will play alongside Rory McIlroy in the first two rounds of the 146th British Open at Royal Birkdale, while reigning champion Henrik Stenson has been grouped with Jordan Spieth in another standout threeball.

Spieth is third in the world rankings.

But the biggest guns come out in the afternoon, the trio of Johnson, McIlroy and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel the big draw at 2.47 pm. Harrington is also the last golfer to win back-to-back Opens, having also claimed the Claret Jug in 2007. He has a total of nine top-10 finishes this year in 15 tournaments.

The Swede, who put on a golfing masterclass at Royal Troon previous year to defeat Phil Mickelson in one of the greatest Open duels of all-time, says he is unhappy with the state of his game and has been for a while now.

"I also remember producing one of the best putting displays of my career when I finished third as Lee Trevino won the 1971 Open at Birkdale". He has been outside the top 10 in his other five appearances.

However relatively few World Top 20 players will play in the morning wave.

Masters victor Sergio Garcia and runner up Justin Rose come in at 20/1, alongside Rory McIlroy, who will be looking to regain the title he won in 2014.

It's been a very up and down year so far: there's been some very good stuff and there's been some very bad stuff as well, terribly inconsistent.

The Open does not utilize a two-tee start like the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

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