The Open round one : groups to watch

2014 07 452182998

With 156 players taking on Royal Liverpool’s course tomorrow, we’ve selected some of the best groups to keep an eye on in the Open’s first round.

Game 13 – 8:37am

143rd Open Championship - Previews

Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia

All of these players are on the hunt for their first major, and you can be sure they’ll have a large following on every green.

Donald will draw on the home support as he looks to improve on his missed cut last year.

Garcia always brings attention no matter which event he is playing in. The world No.9 has come close in Opens past, most notably at Carnoustie in 2007.

Rickie Fowler played well at Royal Aberdeen last week, finishing tied 8th. He’s finished tied fifth and eighth in his last two majors, so he’ll be hoping to be in the mix on Sunday yet again.

Game 15 – 9:04am

143rd Open Championship - Previews

Tiger Woods Angel Cabrera, Henrik Stenson

A group with Tiger Woods is always worth watching. It's only Tiger's second tournament since returning from injury, but he has already said he's come here to win. Add world No.2 Henrik Stenson – last year’s runner up – into the mix and former Masters champion Angel Cabrera, and you have a group packed with talent. The Swede has won everything but a major in golf and with the way he's playing, you wouldn't bet against him winning this week.

Game 17 – 9:26am

143rd Open Championship - Previews

Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Speith

These three youngsters are all hoping to claim the Claret Jug for the first time. For McIlroy, it would mean he was just one step away from a career grand slam, leaving him needing the PGA Championship to complete the haul.

Jordan Speith impressed many with his showing in the Masters earlier in the year, where he battled Bubba Watson, and the Texan has made the top-20 in each of his last five events, he’s definitely one to watch.

Japanese sensation Hideki Matsuyama has played his way to No. 15 in the world, and won at Memorial last month, too. A strong finish in the Open would go a long way to cementing himself as one of the world’s best.

Game 43 – 2:27pm

143rd Open Championship - Previews

Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Jason Dufner

A trio of major winners is sure to throw up excitement. Justin Rose is favourite at the bookies for the Open and has won his last two events. Will he make it three?

World No.1 Adam Scott came agonisingly close to winning the Claret Jug in 2012, only to lose out to Ernie Els. Since then he has a Green Jacket in his locker and four tour wins to his name. Big things are expected of the Aussie.

Having missed the cut in his last two outings – one being the US Open – Jason Dufner needs a good to have a good Open Championship to get back on track. He the PGA Championship last year, so he’s proven his nerves are up to the test. Thursday’s an important round for the American.

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