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Defending champion Jordan Spieth will tee off during the morning session at the 2018 British Open on Thursday.
Spieth is paired with Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, but many fans will be focused on how well world No. 1 Dustin Johnson starts when he tees off with Alex Noren and Charley Hoffman in the afternoon at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland.
However, U.S. Open winner Brooks Koepka and natural links golfer Tiger Woods are also players to watch. They appear set to take different approaches to the course based on their use of the driver, but both should be in the mix near the top of the leaderboard.
The weather is anticipated to be favourable for play early on, with “Wind 5 mph or less until late morning when breeze moves up near 10 mph with gusts near 15,” per Kevin Casey of Golfweek.
Thursday Tee Times (BST/ET)
- 6:35 a.m/1:35 a.m.: Sandy Lyle, Martin KaymerAndy Sullivan
- 6:46 a.m./1:46 a.m.: Erik Van RooyenBrady SchnellMatthew Southgate
- 6:57 a.m./1:57 a.m.: Danny Willett, Emiliano GrilloLuke List
- 7:08 a.m./2:08 a.m.: Mark Calcavecchia, Danthai BoonmaShaun Norris
- 7:19 a.m./2:19 a.m.: Kevin ChappellOliver Wilson, Eddie Pepperell
- 7:30 a.m./2:30 a.m.: Ross Fisher, Paul Dunne, Austin Cook
- 7:41 a.m./2:41 a.m.: Tyrrell HattonPatrick CantlayShane Lowry
- 7:52 a.m./2:52 a.m.: Thomas PietersKevin KisnerMarcus Kinhult
- 8:03 a.m./3:03 a.m.: Phil Mickelson, Satoshi KodairaRafa Cabrera Bello
- 8:14 a.m./3:14 a.m.: Brian Harman, Yuta IkedaAndrew Landry
- 8:25 a.m./3:25 a.m.: Si-Woo Kim, Webb Simpson, Nicolai Hojgaard(a)
- 8:36 a.m./3:36 a.m.: Stewart Cink, Brandon Stone, Hideto Tanihara
- 8:47 a.m./3:47 a.m.: Gary Woodland, Yusaku MiyazatoSung Kang
- 9:03 a.m./4:03 a.m.: Ernie Els, Adam Hadwin, Chesson Hadley
- 9:14 a.m./4:14 a.m.: Pat Perez, Julian SuriGeorge Coetzee
- 9:25 a.m./4:25 a.m.: David Duval, Scott JamiesonKevin Na
- 9:36 a.m./4:36 a.m.: Darren Clarke, Bernhard LangerRetief Goosen
- 9:47 a.m./4:47 a.m.: Matt Kuchar, Anirban LahiriPeter Uihlein
- 9:58 a.m./4:58 a.m.: Jordan SpiethJustin Rose, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
- 10:09 a.m./5:09 a.m.: Jon RahmRickie Fowler, Chris Wood
- 10:20 a.m./5:20 a.m.: Louis OosthuizenPaul Casey, Patrick Reed
- 10:31 a.m./5:31 a.m.: Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, JhonattanVegas
- 10:42 a.m./5:42 a.m.: Yuxin Lin (a), Alexander BjorkSang HyunPark
- 10:53 a.m./5:53 a.m.: James Robinson, Haraldur Magnus, ZanderLombard
- 11:04 a.m./6:04 a.m.: Kodai IchiharaRhys Enoch, Marcus Armitage
- 11:15 a.m./6:15 a.m.: Sean CrockerGavin Green, Ash Turner
- 11:36 a.m./6:36 a.m.: Brandt SnedekerSam Locke (a), Cameron Davis
- 11:47 a.m./6:47 a.m.: Patton KizzireJonas BlixtCharles Howell III
- 11:58 a.m./6:58 a.m.: Charl SchwartzelDaniel Berger, Tom Lewis
- 12:09 p.m./7:09 a.m.: Alex Levy, Ryan Moore, Byeong Hun An
- 12:20 p.m./7:20 a.m.: Michael HendryKelly Kraft, Lee Westwood
- 12:31 p.m./7:31 a.m.: Henrik Stenson, Tommy FleetwoodJimmy Walker
- 12:42 p.m./7:42 a.m.: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, JovanRebula (a)
- 12:53 p.m./7:53 a.m.: Rory McIlroyMarc Leishman, ThorbjornOlesen
- 1:04 p.m./8:04 a.m.: Dustin Johnson, Alex NorenCharley Hoffman
- 1:15 p.m./8:15 a.m.: Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Brendan Steele
- 1:26 p.m./8:26 a.m.: Justin Thomas, Francesco MolinariBranden Grace
- 1:37 p.m./8:37 a.m.: Jason Day, Shota Akiyoshi, Haotong Li
- 1:48 p.m/8:48 a.m.: Todd Hamilton, Beau HosslerJorge Campillo
- 2:04 p.m./9:04 a.m.: Ryuko Tokimatsu, Chez ReavieMichael Kim
- 2:15 p.m./9:15 a.m.: Kyle Stanley, Nicolas ColsaertsJens Dantorp
- 2:26 p.m./9:26 a.m.: Tom Lehman, Dylan FrittelliGrant Forrest
- 2:37 p.m./9:37 a.m.: Lucas Herbert, Min Chel Choi, Jason Kokrak
- 2:48 p.m./9:48 a.m.: Padraig Harrington, Bubba Watson, Matt Wallace
- 2:59 p.m./9:59 a.m.: Ian Poulter, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka
- 3:10 p.m./10:10 a.m.: Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Shubhankar Sharma
- 3:21 p.m./10:21 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Hideki MatsuyamaRussell Knox
- 3:32 p.m./10:32 a.m.: Jason DufnerRyan Fox, Keegan Bradley
- 3:43 p.m./10:43 a.m.: Ryan Armour, Abraham Ancer, MasahiroKawamura
- 3:54 p.m./10:54 a.m.: Jazz Janewattananond, Fabrizio ZanottiJordan Smith
- 4:05 p.m./11:05 a.m.: Brett Rumford, Masanori KobayashiJack Senior
- 4:16 p.m./11:16 a.m.: Matt Jones, Thomas Curtis, Bronson Burgoon
Full tee times available, per the tournament’s official website.
The weather doesn’t need to be dicey for this daunting course to present problems to a talented field. Carnoustie’s fairways are narrow, while recent hot spells mean the course is already harder than usual.
It means drives need to be straight and can be extended wildly with a bounce or two.
The problem has already been anticipated by Tiger Woods, per Ewan Murray of the Guardian: “The 42-year-old sees little need to produce the longest club in his bag is also a positive; Woods’ driving has been woefully wayward at times this year.”
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While Woods will likely rely on his irons to make steady, mistake-free approaches to the greens, Spieth will be more concerned about what happens when he reaches them.
The 24-year-old has said he’s looking forward to taking different approaches to playing the course, per BBC Sport’s Peter Scrivener.
However, the American should be be more worried about his putting, with Kyle Porter of CBS Sports detailing the Open champion’s problems: “Spieth is No. 14 in strokes gained from tee to green and No. 175 in strokes gained putting.”
One player who won’t be afraid to use the driver at Carnoustie is Koepka. The winner of the last two editions of the U.S. Open told reporters he could use as many as nine drivers.
If the wind is on his side, the 28-year-old’s willingness to chance his arm from the tee could help him make quicker work of many of the trickier holes.
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His win at Shinnecock Hills in June will also stand Koepka in good stead since the course is as “close to a Scottish links as America has to offer,” according to Alex Myers of Golfworld.
The Floridian doesn’t tend to take unnecessary risks, but if he can gain any advantage from the tee, he will be hard to beat as the tournament progresses.