Tee times, pairings announced for 146th Open Championship

Lynette Rowe
July 17, 2017

IRVINE, Scotland (AP) - Henrik Stenson is pessimistic about his chances of successfully defending the British Open title at Royal Birkdale next week.

England's Chris Wood, and Americans Mark O'Meara and Ryan Moore will be the first group away at 06:35 BST.

The high profile trio off on Thursday at 2.48pm.

He said his ball-striking hasn't been good for the last 18 months, apart from during a two-month stretch in the summer of 2016 when he won the BMW International Open in Germany followed by the Open Championship three weeks later.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson features in the second trio to consider, with two-time major victor Jordan Spieth and Players champion Si Woo Kim completing that threeball.

Padraig Harrington, the victor of the last Open to be held at Royal Birkdale in 2008, is part of the first option as he tees off with Pat Perez and big-hitting Thomas Pieters at 9.36am. "We certainly need to step that up quite a lot if we want to have anything to do with it next week".

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"I'm still going to enjoy next week", he added. You never know, it might be the only time we're defending champion at the Open Championship so I might as well enjoy it.

Following Stenson's group will be former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, England's Justin Rose and American Justin Thomas.

Home favourite Tommy Fleetwood will partner US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Japan's world No 2 Hideki Matsuyama off the first at 10.09am.

Irish Open victor Jon Rahm has been paired with Patrick Reed and Lee Westwood at 2:59pm, with 2013 champion Phil Mickelson, Francesco Molinari and Marc Leishman in the group behind.

That group follows England's Justin Rose - looking to better his memories of Birkdale in 1998 - who plays with 2010 Open victor Louis Oosthuizen and American Justin Thomas at 9.58am.

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