July 14, 2014
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy arrives at The Open Championship after finishing 14th at the Scottish Open. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, England -- Defending champion Phil Mickelson will play with two other major champions during the first and second rounds of The Open Championship.
Mickelson's playing partners are two-time Open champion Ernie Els and Bubba Watson, who won his second Masters in April. The group leaves the first tee at 2:05 p.m. local time (9:05 a.m. ET).
All players start on No. 1 between 6:25 a.m. local (1:25 a.m. ET) and 4:06 p.m. local (11:06 a.m. ET).
Several other notable groups for the first two rounds at Royal Liverpool are listed below. Please use the comments section below to tell PGATOUR.COM which groups you'll be watching.
Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia (8:37 a.m. local, 3:37 a.m. ET in the first round, 1:38 p.m. local, 8:38 a.m. ET in the second round): All three players are seeking their first major. Fowler is the only player to finish in the top five in the year's first two majors, while Garcia has seven top-10s in 17 Open starts, including a runner-up in 2007.
Tiger Woods, Angel Cabrera and Henrik Stenson (9:04 a.m. local, 4:04 a.m. ET in the first round and 2:05 p.m. local, 9:05 a.m. ET in the second round): All eyes will be on Woods, who won the 2006 Open at Royal Liverpool, as he resumes his quest for No. 15. Cabrera, a two-time major champ, has momentum after his win at The Greenbrier Classic while Stenson finished second at last year's Open Championship.
Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth (9:26 a.m. local time, 4:26 a.m. ET in the first round and 2:27 p.m. local time, 9:27 a.m. ET in the second): This group features three of the game's young stars. McIlroy has already won two majors while Matsuyama won his first PGA TOUR event in a playoff at The Memorial and Spieth, who turns 21 in 13 days, has seven top-10s this season.
Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker (9:37 a.m. local time, 4:37 a.m. ET in the first round and 2:38 p.m. local time, 9:38 a.m. ET in the second): Poulter (2008) and Johnson (2011) are former Open Championship runners-up, while Walker is a three-time winner on TOUR this season and the FedExCup leader.
Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen (9:48 a.m., 4:48 a.m. ET in the first round and 2:49 p.m. local time, 9:49 a.m. ET in the second): Two major champions -- 2010 U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell and 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen -- are paired with one of the game's best players without a major, former PLAYERS winner Matt Kuchar.
Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Jason Dufner (2:27 p.m. local time, 9:27 a.m. ET in the first round and 9:26 a.m. local time, 4:26 a.m. ET in the second round): Justin Rose holds the hot-hand in this group after winning the Quicken Loans National and Aberdeen Assets Scottish Open in his last two starts. The other two are major champions, though, with Scott winning the 2013 Masters and Dufner taking the title at last year's PGA.
Ryo Ishikawa, Lee Westwood, Keegan Bradley (2:38 p.m. local time, 9:38 a.m. ET in the first round and 9:37 a.m. local time, 4:37 a.m. ET in the second round): Ishikawa won on the Japan Tour on July 6 to earn his Open bid. Westwood has three top-three finishes at The Open, including a T3 last year at Muirfield. Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner, finished 15th at last year's Open. He's coming off a T4 at The Greenbrier Classic.