RORY McILROY and Dustin Johnson will look to put their injury nightmares behind them after the superstar duo were drawn together for the first round at Royal Birkdale.
McIlroy, who has slipped to fourth in the world ranking, missed the cut at the US Open and enters the season’s third Major having not made a penny from his past two events.
Monster-hitting American Johnson also flopped at Erin Hills following his withdrawal from the Masters having fallen down some stairs.
They start their bid for the Claret Jug alongside South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel at 2.48pm on Thursday.
Hometown hero Tommy Fleetwood will partner US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Japan’s world No 2 Hideki Matsuyama off the first at 10.09am.
That group follows England’s Justin Rose – looking to better his incredible memories of Birkdale in 1998 – who plays with 2010 Open winner Louis Oosthuizen and American Justin Thomas at 9.58am.
Ian Poulter features on a list of strong English contenders in the morning wave, with his 8.03am tee time coming between Matt Fitzpatrick (7.41am), former Masters champion Danny Willett (7.30am) and Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston (11.36am).
Belgium’s Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters and Padraig Harrington, who successfully defended his Open crown at Birkdale in 2008, kick-start their bid for glory at 9.36am.
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Following them is reigning champion Henrik Stenson, American sensation Jordan Spieth and The Players winner Si Woo Kim at 9.47am.
Paul Casey (1.26pm), Lee Westwood (2.59pm) and Phil Mickelson (3.10pm) are the pick of the afternoon bunch with the first tee shot of the day at 6.35am going to 1998 winner here, American Mark O’Meara.
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