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Knox drawn to play Woods at ‘special’ Carnoustie

Russell Knox

Russell Knox: tees off with Woods (pic: SNS Group)


 

Tiger Woods will tee-off with Scottish golfer Russell Knox for the first round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

The 42-year-old world number 71 is returning to the event for the first time since 2015 and will get under way at 3.21pm on Thursday with the Irish Open champion and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.

“It has been a while and I’ve certainly missed it,”  Woods told a media briefing. “Carnoustie is special. This is my fourth time playing it as a tournament.”

Fourteen-times major champion Woods won the British Open in 2000, 2005 and 2006.

Knox finished joint-second in the French Open just over a fortnight ago and was also in contention in the Scottish Open at Gullane last weekend before falling away on the final day.

1985 winner Sandy Lyle will make his final Open appearance – unless he manages a top ten finish – and will hit the first shot.

The event returns to Carnoustie for the first time since 2007 when Padraig Harrington’s play-off victory over Sergio Garcia ended Europe’s eight-year wait for a major title.

Since then, there have been 14 European successes in the big four events, although the last five major championships have all been won by Americans under the age of 30.

The most recent 12 major titles have been spread among 10 players, with the United States enjoying a greater share than any other country.

The US could provide this week’s winner in the shape of in-form Rickie Fowler. The Open runner-up from 2014 played his final warm-up event at the Scottish Open last week and tied for sixth over the links of Gullane.

English hopes rest mainly on Justin Rose who tied for ninth on Sunday, making it four straight top 10s and he hasn’t been outside the top-25 since before The Masters.

Rory McIlroy enjoys the links and the former Open champion’s last three starts in the season’s third major have all yielded top-five finishes.



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