The British Open Championship is starting up on Thursday and with a number of high profile names in the field, as always Tiger Woods will be looked to as a favorite, while defending champion Ernie Els as well as Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson will also be in the mix at Muirfield for the oldest major in golf.
Woods is coming into the tournament after injuring himself at the U.S. Open last month and after taking time off from play over the past few weeks he says that he is feeling good and is ready to play well in Scotland. Woods has won the Open Championship three previous times, in 2000, 2005 and 2006 and the last time he played at Muirfirld he ended up with a career worst 81 on the day. Woods will tee off on Thursday starting at 2:45 p.m. local time and 9:45 a.m. ET and he will be grouped with major champs Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen for the first two rounds.
The group will start the second round on Friday at 4:44 a.m. ET and 9:44 a.m. local time and another solid group is Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, who will play with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama on Thursday at :44 a.m. ET and then at 9:45 a.m. ET Friday. The time difference will be tough for some golf fans in America, but the major is shaping up to be one of the most interesting in years and the weather appears to be doing well leading up to the start, unlike the US Open in Merion.
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Masters champion Adam Scott will play with Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald and this will be the next chance for Tiger Woods to break his major streak, as it has been now 20 big events that have passed since he last won. Woods last took the US Open and he now will get the chance to get back onto the course where he had the worst performance of his career.
Els is defending champion and in a way he is the double defending champion, as he won last year as well as the last time the tournament was at Muirfield back in 2001. Woods is still four behind Jack Nicklaus for the majors record and while many feel that he can get it, it has been a very long time since he has won one and people are wondering when he will finally break though. Many feel that this year is the time, since he won four times on tour and he had a good chance at the Masters and was playing very well before getting a penalty for his drop controversy.