TWELVE Australians will tee off in the first round of the British Open at St Andrews beginning at 3.30pm Thursday AEST.
They include Mathew Goggin, John Senden, Robert Allenby, Jason Day, Michael Sim, Ewan Porter, Cameron Percy, Peter Senior, Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and Kurt Barnes.
Scott will tee off at 10.42 pm in an afternoon feature group that includes England’s Lee Westwood and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jiminez.
They will be directly followed by Ogilvy, playing with fellow former US Open winner Jim Furyk and current champion Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.
Other highlight groups will be Tiger Woods, in form Englishman Justin Rose and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas at 6.09pm – just nine minutes after the Australian Fox Sports coverage begins.
The early coverage is also likely to heavily feature the following group (6.20pm) – Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, Japan’s teenage star Ryo Ishikawa and the man who broke so many hearts at the event last year – US legend Tom Watson.
Unfortunately, Greg Norman had to pull out of the event this week saying regaining competitive form after his shoulder surgery was taking longer than expected.
His spot was immediately taken by the next alternate starter who happened to be a fellow Queenslander, the up and coming Jason Day.
“I was especially looking forward to playing St Andrews, celebrating The Open’s 150th anniversary and playing The Open Champions’ Challenge,” Norman said.
One Aussie veteran golfer who will make it to the historic Old Course first tee will be Peter Senior, playing in his sixth British Open and his first for a decade.
Senior, who has been honing his skills and keeping the bank balance healthy on the US Champions Tour, says that making the weekend cut would be an achievement.
“I’m excited that I’ve got two weeks here. I’ve got St Andrews and then Carnoustie next week for the Senior (British) Open,” Senior said.
Australian Fox Sports subscribers will have access to a mammoth amount of coverage beginning with historic films and previews over the next few days and then more than 40 hours of live coverage, beginning with the Open Champions’ Challenge live at 12.30 am on Thursday.
Channel Nine will be serving up a few scraps for free to air viewers. See the full story on that below.