Woods to tee off with McDowell, Oosthuizen

Tournament favourite Tiger Woods will join Ulsterman Graeme McDowell and South African Louis Oosthuizen for Thursday’s first round of the British Open.

The 37-year-old American, who will be playing competitively for the first time in a month after spraining his left elbow during the US Open, is seeking a 15th major title, over five years after winning his last at the 2008 US Open.
In McDowell he will have the 2010 US Open champion, who won his third title of the year at the French Open on July 7.
Oosthuizen won the British Open at St Andrews in 2010, with Woods having won the title there in 2005 and 2000. They will have a mid-afternoon start on Thursday at 2:45 pm (1545 GMT) and a 9:44 am (1044 GMT) start on Friday.
Defending champion Ernie Els will go out with Justin Rose, who won the US Open last month and American Brandt Snedeker, seen as one of the finest putters in the game but who has yet to win a major.
Rory McIlroy, winless this year after making an equipment change that has seen his form slump, is paired with Phil Mickelson, who is back up to fifth in the world after winning the Scottish Open on Sunday and rising Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama.
Other top groupings see Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel brought together as well as Masters champion Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald.
First out on Thursday at 6:32 am (0732) will be Australian veteran Peter Senior, local lad Lloyd Saltman and Oliver Fisher of England.
Meanwhile, Woods has made a cautious return to Muirfield, 11 years after he saw his dream of achieving the Grand Slam of golf blown away by a North Sea storm.
He played nine holes over the British Open course on Sunday despite still taking painkillers and receiving treatment for the injury to his left elbow that he exacerbated while playing in last month’s US Open.
“I better not push it.
“The ground’s going to be hard over here. I just wanted to make sure that everything was healed before I came over,” said Woods.
Kapur has major ambitions at the Open
Focussed on a good show this week, Shiv Kapur says he will bank on his first Major appearance in 2006 when he tees off at the Open Championship in Muirfield on Thursday.
Asian Tour winner Kapur qualified for the year’s third Major at the Local Final Qualifying (LFQ) event in Dunbar, Scotland two weeks ago.
The 31-year-old said he still had a vivid recollection of his Major debut despite missing the cut by one shot.
“It was the most incredible week of my life. I was like a kid in a candy store and just soaked up the whole experience. Playing that year made me realise why there is such a hype surrounding the majors and it lived up to every moment,” said Kapur.
Kapur still holds high hopes despite playing in only his second Major tournament. “The goal is to play up to my potential and I feel if I can do that, I definitely won’t be there just completing the numbers. I’ll approach it like any other event and try to get into the mix.”
He also reckoned he would need to put on his thinking cap to negotiate his way around the unfamiliarity of playing links golf.

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