It’s always difficult to weed out the featured groups at a major championship since most of the best players in the world are teeing it up. The 2013 Open Championship is no different, but the powers that be certainly did their homework when putting together the pairings for the first two days at Muirfield.
Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia will get their tournament started at 9:01 am EST Thursday and will begin their second round at 4 am EST Friday. Garcia can’t seem to catch a break in majors but Westwood joins him on the list of the game’s best players that haven’t won a major. I don’t know how well this group will play, but they will definitely be making headlines for one reason or another.
Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald get going at 9:12 am EST Thursday and 4:11 am EST Friday. Kuchar is currently ranked 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings and sixth in the world thanks to two victories so far in 2013. I’ll be keeping an eye on Scott to see if he is more reminiscent of the guy who threw away this tournament last year or the one that took home the green jacket this year. Donald is one of the best ball strikers in the field – a skill that should serve him well.
The chances are that one of the members of the group consisting of Dustin Johnson, Nicolas Colsaerts and Bubba Watson will be at the top of the pack in driving distance. Whether or not they’ll be at the top of the leaderboard is not quite as certain, however. You can check out their prowess out of the tee starting at 2:44 am EST Thursday and 8:45 am EST Friday.
Tiger Woods will be making his return to competitive golf after a few weeks off nursing an elbow injury. He’ll tee it up with Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen at 9:45 am EST Thursday and 4:44 am EST Friday. Both Woods and Oosthuizen have won this event before while G-Mac has a U.S. Open title. Obviously, all eyes will be on El Tigre as he comes into this event as one of the favorites despite coming in on the heels of an extended absence.