Apologies for not being able to post the full Thursday and Friday pairings and tee times for the 144th Open Championship at St Andrews, but the R&A doesn’t have them in a text version, but you can find the list in its entirety here.
Let’s take a look at some of the best and most intriguing groupings for the first round (all times local).
*9:00: Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson — OH MY GOD, what in the world did Schwartzel do to deserve this draw??? Poor, Charl. That’s like a two-shot penalty at the very least.
*9:11: Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Patrick Reed — three good players who should be fun to watch.
*9:33: Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Dustin Johnson — It’s not quite an 18-hole playoff at Chambers Bay, but looks like we’re getting our Spieth-DJ matchup, after all. This is definitely a great group to follow with two amazing ballstrikers in DJ and Matsuyama and the best putter in the world in Spieth, who, of course, is trying to win his third consecutive major. Can he do it? I wouldn’t bet against him!
*9:55: Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day — Another great group! Except poor Louis! How did the last Open champ at St Andrews manage to get paired with Woods in the first two rounds at the second straight major? Remember how Louis let Tiger (and Rickie Fowler) drag him down in the first round at Chambers Bay, yet he still finished T2? Obviously, it was Louis’ fault letting himself get distracted by Tiger and Rickie’s poor play (they shot 80 and 81, respectively), but it definitely didn’t help that he was playing with two guys who were struggling badly. Louis shot 77 in the first round and managed to turn it around to post four-under for the championship. Had it not been for that wretched opening round, he would have run away with U.S. Open title. But, you know what they say, shoulda, woulda, coulda…
*10:17: David Duval, Ben Curtis, Stewart Cink — three former Open champions who have essentially fallen into obscurity. As someone on Twitter called them, “one-hit wonders.” Ouch.
*12:50: John Daly, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jason Dufner — one word: awesome! Three fan favorites who all have their lovable quirks and should be a blast to watch.
*2:12: Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker — three really good players who are flying under the radar this week.
*2:34: Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson — an Open champion and two guys who are in that category of the best-players-without-a-major.
*2:45: Sir Nick Faldo, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler — two major champions from England and an American who just won the Scottish Open.
Sorry I didn’t have time to get more creative as I have to run to the physio. Did I miss any other interesting pairings? Who would you follow and watch? Which group are you most excited about?