Tiger to partner Garcia, Rose
Lytham - Tiger Woods will play alongside Spain's Sergio Garcia and England's Justin Rose in the first and second rounds of the 141st British Open, according to groups and tee times released on Monday.
Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, tees off with Rose and Garcia at 11:42 (SA time) on Thursday morning in round one at Royal Lytham and at 16:43 in the afternoon on Friday.
Garcia and Rose have never won a major but they figure to draw the largest crowds in the early rounds at the par-70 Lancashire layout, especially with several other notable groups nearby.
Defending champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland will be joined by Zach Johnson of the United States and South Africa's Ernie Els at 11:09 on Thursday, three groups in front of Woods, Garcia and Rose.
In the group directly after Clarke's threesome are England's World No 2 Lee Westwood, chasing his first major title, alongside reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson of the United States and Japan's Yoshinori Fujimoto.
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell will start in the group immediately in front of the Woods group, playing alongside American Dustin Johnson and Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita.
Teeing off just after the Woods group will be five-time British Open champion Tom Watson, Germany's Martin Kaymer and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa.
Thursday afternoon's late starters include a trio of impressive groups.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy will start at 14:21 alongside reigning PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley of the United States and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
In the group just behind them will be Ireland's Padraig Harrington, a two-time British Open champion, with US standout Rickie Fowler and Austrian amateur Manuel Trappel.
World No. 1 Luke Donald of England tees off in the next group at 16:43 along with Australian Geoff Ogilvy and four-time major champion Phil Mickelson.
American Webb Simpson, who owns last month's US Open title, withdrew from the event to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
For gorgeous gifts at gorgeous prices, click here for the ultimate Christmas gift guide from Clicks.