CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, back at the British Open this week for the first time since 2015, will begin his campaign in Thursday’s opening round at Carnoustie in a three-ball with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox of Scotland.
“It has been a while and I’ve certainly missed it,” former world number one Woods told reporters on Monday. “This is the oldest tournament we have in our sport.
“Carnoustie is special. This is my fourth time playing it as a tournament. From my first time coming here as an amateur to being back now, it’s just amazing how this course doesn’t change.
“It’s probably the most difficult one we play in the whole rotation,” added Woods.
The 42-year-old American, world number 16 Matsuyama and Knox, winner of the Irish Open two weeks ago, will tee-off at 1521 local time.
Fourteen-times major champion Woods, who won the British Open in 2000, 2005 and 2006, has missed the last two editions because of a back problem.
Fellow American Jordan Spieth launches his title defense at 0958 along with Justin Rose of England and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy must wait until 1253 to tee-off with Australia’s Marc Leishman and Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark.
World number one Dustin Johnson will be joined in the 1304 group by Sweden’s Alex Noren and fellow American Charley Hoffman.
The honor of striking the first shot of the championship falls to 1985 winner Sandy Lyle.
The 60-year-old Scot, making his 43rd appearance in the tournament, will tee-off at 0635 in the company of Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Andy Sullivan of England.
Editing by Ed Osmond