Curtis Woods Get Afternoon Tee Times at Open


TROON, Scotland -- Ben Curtis will tee off in the afternoon in the opening round of the 133rd British Open Championship Thursday at Royal Troon Golf Club. The defending champion will be joined by three-time British Open winner Nick Faldo and Jean-Francois Remesy for the first two rounds.
Curtis became one of the most unlikely major champions in history when he captured the British Open last year at Royal St. George's. The Ohio native, who enters this week ranked 354 positions higher than he was at this time last year, will face even greater odds as he tries to become the first player to successfully defend his title at this event since Tom Watson accomplished the feat in 1983.
The trio will have a 2:42 p.m. tee time on Thursday (9:42 a.m. ET). On Friday they will start at 9:31 a.m. (4:31 a.m. ET).
Tiger Woods, who hasn't won a major since the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage, also has an afternoon tee time. Woods, who captured the 2000 Open at St. Andrews will be joined on the first tee by two-time British Open champion Greg Norman and Lee Westwood at 1:42 p.m. local time.
A few groups later on Thursday will be a pair of former major winners. Vijay Singh and David Toms will be joined by Toshi Izawa, going off at 2:09 p.m. local time.
Last year's U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk, who returned to action last month at Shinnecock following wrist surgery, has a later tee time along with Fredrik Jacobson and amateur Brian McElhinney.
Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Nick Flanagan will be joined by a pair of major champions in his Thursday morning group. Nick Price, who missed the cut the last two times the British Open was held at Troon, and 2003 PGA champion Shaun Micheel join Flanagan in the fifth group off at 7:14 a.m. local time.
In the following group is Davis Love III along with Paul Lawrie, the last European to win the British Open when he captured the event in 1999. Love, Lawrie and K.J. Choi will start at 7:25 a.m. local time.
Ernie Els, who his heavily favored to win his second British Open title this week, joins Justin Leonard, who captured the title in Troon in 1997, and Englishman Luke Donald in the ninth group off the first tee Thursday at 7:58 a.m. local time.
Reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who came close to winning the U.S. Open last month, will be joined by Shigeki Maruyama and Paul Casey for the opening rounds. That trio will tee off at 8:31 a.m. local time on Thursday.
The man who knocked off Mickelson at Shinnecock will be in the 35th group off the first tee on Thursday. Retief Goosen, who earned his second U.S. Open title last month, has a stellar pairing with Robert Allenby and Jay Haas at 1:09 p.m. local time.
Local favorite Colin Montgomerie, still in search of his first major title, will begin his quest in front of some very supportive galleries Thursday morning at 8:58 a.m. local time along with Thomas Bjorn and Frank Lickliter.
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