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Open draw has former champion Darren Clarke as first Irish starter at Hoylake

Updated: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 21:14 | Comments

2011 Open champion Darren Clarke tees off at 8.25am with Tom Watson and Jim Furyk in Thursday's first round
2011 Open champion Darren Clarke tees off at 8.25am with Tom Watson and Jim Furyk in Thursday's first round

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Darren Clarke will be the first of the Irish players in action at this year's Open Championship at Hoylake following today’s draw for the opening round.

The 2011 champion tees off at 8.25am on Thursday with two American veterans – Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson and Jim Furyk.

There are also morning starts for Pádraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

Double Open champion Harrington is in a group with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and South Korean KJ Choi, who start at 9.15am.

Rory McIlroy is next out at 9.26am with American Jordan Spieth and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

McDowell is with Louis Oosthuizen and Matt Kuchar, starting at 9:37am, while Michael Hoey, amateur Paul Dunne and Shane Lowry will all begin their challenge in the afternoon.

Tiger Woods, who won his third British Open the last time the event was staged at Hoylake in 2006, will start his first round on just after 9am alongside Argentina's Angel Cabrera and Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Phil Mickelson gets the defence of his title under way at 2:05pm in the company of 2012 winner Ernie Els and current Masters champion Bubba Watson, with Scottish Open winner Justin Rose out two groups later with world number one Adam Scott and former US PGA champion Jason Dufner.

US Open champion Martin Kaymer begins his bid for a second major of the year at 1:38pm alongside Australian Jason Day and former Masters champion Zach Johnson.

Click here for full First Round tee-times.

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