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Woods out at 4:04 a.m. ET in Rd. 1 of British

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HOYLAKE, England – Tiger Woods’ first round of the year in a major championship will be played alongside Angel Cabrera and Henrik Stenson at the British Open.

The three-ball goes off at 4:04 a.m. ET Thursday in the first round at Royal Liverpool. They’ll begin the second round Friday at 9:05 a.m. ET.

Woods missed nearly four months of the season following surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back. He returned last month to play in the Quicken Loans National, which benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation, but shot 74-75 and easily missed the cut.

However, Woods arrived at Royal Liverpool on Saturday, spoke with reporters and declared himself perfectly healthy and said no limitations were put on him from his physicians.


Round 1 tee times for the 2014 British Open


“I’ve got my speed back, which is nice, and I’m starting to hit the ball out there again,” Woods said. “I’m only going to get stronger. As the weeks go on, I’m getting strong and faster.”

Defending champion Phil Mickelson is grouped with Ernie Els and Masters champion Bubba Watson. The three tee off at 9:05 a.m ET on Thursday.

“It’s a different feeling for me coming over here now having won this tournament,” Mickelson said. “The way I felt was, ‘Am I ever going to come through and break through and play well on links golf and win an Open Championship?’ Now I know that I can. I know that I’ve done it and it takes a lot of pressure off me.”

Other featured groups: U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer is with Jason Day and Zach Johnson at 8:38 a.m. ET; Scottish Open winner Justin Rose is with Adam Scott and PGA champion Jason Dufner at 9:27 a.m. ET; The Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia group tees off at 3:37 a.m. ET on Thursday; Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth are grouped and will go at 4:26 a.m. ET.