The R&A has put together some wonderful groups for the first two days of the 2015 British Open at the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Without Rory McIlroy becoming the first player since Ben Hogan in 1954 to not defend the Claret Jug, the traditional defending champion’s grouping has been blown up. In its place, however, is a strong group featuring two-time 2015 major winner Jordan Spieth, U.S. Open co-runner-up Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama. They start at 4:33 a.m. Eastern on Thursday morning (the local time in Scotland is five hours ahead of the Eastern time zone).
Here’s a look at four other groups to watch over the first two days at the 2015 British Open:
1. The Tobacco OR Great Hair Group — John Daly, Jason Dufner, Miguel Angel Jimenez (7:50 a.m. Eastern on Thursday) — In what could be considered a somewhat comical grouping, 1995 Open champion John Daly, 2013 PGA champion Jason Day and the ageless Miguel Angel Jimenez are grouped together. It’s a match of a mullet, reformed long-hair wearer and the man with the best hair in golf. Or it could be considered a match-up of a cigarette smoker, a dipper and a cigar aficionado.
2. The Mutually Assured Destruction Group — Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel (4 a.m. Eastern on Thursday) — Ian Poulter and Bubba Watson aren’t the biggest fans of each other and took turns riling up the crowd at the 2012 and ’14 Ryder Cups. They’ll play together the first two days with Charl Schwartzel as a bystander. Poulter loves the Open; Bubba doesn’t.
3. The Last Three St. Andrews Open Winners…And Jason Day — Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day (4:55 a.m. Eastern on Thursday) — Tiger Woods looks to pick up an unlikely 15th major and third Claret Jug at the Home of Golf. He’ll start that quest on Thursday and Friday with Louis Oosthuizen, the only other St. Andrews Open winner since 2000, and Jason Day, who expects to be vertigo-free after a bout with the condition at the U.S. Open.
4. The Under the Radar Group — Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker (9:12 a.m. Eastern on Thursday) — Adam Scott loves the Open. Martin Kaymer loves St. Andrews. Jimmy Walker is one of the best in the world without a major and knows windy golf well. Don’t sleep on this group.