Tiger has early British tee time, Phil late with Els and Bubba


The Sports Network

Hoylake, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Tiger Woods has an early start Thursday at the 2014 British Open, while Phil Mickelson will begin defense of his title in the afternoon with Ernie Els and Bubba Watson alongside at Royal Liverpool.

Woods will make his second start since returning from a three-month absence because of back surgery. He missed the cut a few weeks back at the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour.

The 14-time major champion claimed the Claret Jug the last time the Open was played at Royal Liverpool in 2006. His start for a fourth Open championship will begin Thursday at 9:04 a.m. local time (4:04 a.m. ET) with former Masters and U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera and 2013 British Open runner-up Henrik Stenson in his group. Stenson, the current world No. 2, finished three shots behind Mickelson last year at Muirfield.

Mickelson's quest for a second straight British Open crown will start at 2:05 p.m. local time (9:05 a.m. ET), alongside a stellar group that features Els, the 2002 and 2012 Open champ, and reigning Masters winner Watson.

That trio will start two groups after reigning U.S. Open champ Martin Kaymer, Jason Day and Zach Johnson at 1:38 p.m. (8:38 a.m. ET). World No. 1 Adam Scott, 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and 2013 U.S. Open winner Justin Rose, who just captured the Scottish Open this past weekend, will start two groups after Mickelson at 2:27 p.m. (9:27 a.m. ET).

Other featured groups include Rory McIlroy with Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama, starting at 9:26 a.m. (4:26 a.m. ET), while a trio of veterans has five-time Open champ Tom Watson with 2011 winner Darren Clarke and Jim Furyk at 8:26 a.m. (3:26 a.m. ET).

The opening tee shot will be hit by England's David Howell at 6:25 a.m. local time (1:25 a.m. ET). He'll play with 2001 British Open champ David Duval and Sweden's Robert Karlsson.

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  • WEB.COM - Web.com Tour Championship Preview

    Thursday, September 18th through Sunday, September 21st Course Info Site: TPC Sawgrass (Dye's Valley), Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Course Architect: Pete Dye, Jerry Pate and Bobby Weed (1987) Par: 70 Yardage: 6,864 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 35 3,367 Yds 1 - Par 5 554 Yds 2 - Par 3 170 Yds 3 - Par 4 342 Yds 4 - Par 4 427 Yds 5 - Par 3 153 Yds 6 - Par 4 462 Yds 7 - Par 4 323 Yds 8 - Par 4 500 Yds 9 - Par 4 436 Yds Back Nine: 35 3,497 Yds 10 - Par 4 413 Yds 11 - Par 3 227 Yds 12 - Par 4 362 Yds 13 - Par 4 406 Yds 14 - Par 3 203 Yds 15 - Par 4 399 Yds 16 - Par 5 559 Yds 17 - Par 4 499 Yds 18 - Par 4 429 Yds Tournament Info Year: 22nd Television: Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 2-5 p.m. (et) Champion: Chesson Hadley (Not defending) Runner Up: Brad Fritsch, Scott Gardiner, John Peterson, Brendon Todd Tournament Record: 264 (Richard Johnson, 2007) 54-Hole Record: 197 (Richard Johnson, 2007) 36-Hole Record: 126 (Michael Letzig, 2007) Course Record: 63 (Ashley Hall, 2013) Total Purse: $1,000,000 Shares: 1st Place - $180,000; 2nd Place - $108,000; 3rd Place - $68,000 2013 Final Leaderboard Chesson Hadley 270 Brad Fritsch 272 Scott Gardiner 272 John Peterson 272 Brendon Todd 272 Russell Knox 273 Andrew Loupe 273 Nine players at 274 Past Winners 2013: Chesson Hadley (270). Runner up: Brad Fritsch, Scott Gardiner, John Peterson, Brendon Todd 2012: Justin Bolli (268). Runner up: James Hahn 2011: Ken Duke (278). Runner up: Scott Brown 2010: *Brendan Steele (275). Runner up: Colt Knost 2009: Matt Every (267). Runner up: Michael Sim 2008: Matt Bettencourt (267). Runner up: Jeff Klauk 2007: Richard Johnson (264). Runner up: Michael Letzig 2006: Craig Kanada (275). Runner up: Andrew Buckle, Matt Kuchar 2005: David Branshaw (276). Runner up: Eric Axley 2004: Nick Watney (273). Runner up: Brett Wetterich 2003: Chris Couch (270). Runner up: D.J. Brigman 2002: #Patrick Moore (206). Runner up: Steven Alker, Mike Heinen, Jeff Klauk 2001: Pat Bates (284). Runner up: Tom Carter, Brenden Pappas 2000: Spike McRoy (272). Runner up: Briny Baird 1999: *Bob Heintz (283). Runner up: Marco Dawson 1998: Bob Burns (283). Runner up: Jeff Gove 1997: Steve Flesch (278). Runner up: Chris Smith 1996: Stewart Cink (281). Runner up: David Berganio Jr 1995: *Allen Doyle (283). Runner up: John Maginnes 1994: Mike Schuchart (277). Runner up: Emlyn Aubrey, Jeff Cook, Lee Rinker 1993: David Duval (277). Runner up: Danny Briggs * - Won in Playoff # - Weather Shortened Formerly called NIKE Tour Championship (1993-99), BUY.COM Tour Championship (2000-02), Nationwide Tour Championship (2003-11), Web.com Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch (2012). Top Contenders Brad Fritsch 2010: 2011: 2012: T-9 2013: T-2 Scott Gardiner 2010: T-24 2011: 2012: T-25 2013: T-2 John Peterson 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: T-2 Tom Hoge 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: T-17 Andrew Putnam 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: T-24 Colt Knost 2010: T-2 2011: 2012: 2013: T-46 Casey Wittenberg 2010: 2011: T-38 2012: T-9 2013: T-54 Adam Hadwin 2010: 2011: 2012: T-3 2013: mc Trevor Immelman 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: mc Blayne Barber 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: Tony Finau 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: Carlos Ortiz 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: Zack Sucher 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: Justin Thomas 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: NOTES: What's at stake this week? Well, how about each player's livelihood? This is the fourth and final week of the Web.com Tour Finals. Bud Cauley won the first event of the Finals at the Hotel Fitness Championship; Adam Hadwin captured the Chiquita Classic; and Justin Thomas won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship last week.

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