Tee times set for Thurs­day’s Open(er)

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - STEVE DIMEGLIO

SOUTHPORT, ENG­LAND — Hen­rik Sten­son will be­gin de­fence of his Bri­tish Open ti­tle along­side reign­ing Play­ers cham­pion Si Woo Kim and two-time ma­jor cham­pion Jor­dan Spi­eth when the 146th edi­tion of the old­est cham­pi­onship in golf be­gins Thurs­day.

The three be­gin play at 9:47 a.m. lo­cal time (4:47 a.m. ET) at Royal Birk­dale golf course in the city of Southport in north­west Eng­land.

Hit­ting the first tee shot of the tour­na­ment at 6:35 a.m. lo­cal time will be Mark O’Meara, who won the Open here in 1998. The fore­cast is good, with tem­per­a­tures in the 20s and the typ­i­cal Birk­dale seashore winds to be bat­tled on the links course.

Padraig Har­ring­ton, who won in 2008 when the Open was last played at Birk­dale, is off with Pat Perez and Thomas Pi­eters (4:36 a.m. ET). Reign­ing U.S. Open cham­pion Brooks Koepka, who hasn’t played since he torched Erin Hills in Wis­con­sin to win the na­tional cham­pi­onship, is play­ing with Hideki Mat­suyama, who tied for sec­ond in the U.S. Open, and Tommy Fleet­wood, who fin­ished fourth at Erin Hills (5:09 a.m. ET).

Ser­gio Gar­cia, who won his first ma­jor at the Masters in April, is off with 2015 PGA champ Ja­son Day and Zach John­son, who won the Bri­tish Open at St. An­drews in 2015 (8:04 a.m. ET).

Rory McIl­roy, who has missed the cut in three of his last four starts, is off with world No. 1 Dustin John­son and 2011 Masters cham­pion Charl Schwartzel (9:48 a.m. ET).

Jon Rahm, who won the Ir­ish Open, is with Pa­trick Reed and Lee West­wood (9:59 a.m. ET). Phil Mick­el­son is play­ing with Francesco Moli­nari and Marc Leish­man (10:10 a.m. ET).

DAVE THOMP­SON, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ire­land’s Rory McIl­roy, left, and Padraig Har­ring­ton sign au­to­graphs for fans Mon­day at the sec­ond prac­tice day for the Bri­tish Open Golf Cham­pi­onship at Royal Birk­dale.

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