Rory McIlroy avoids LIV golf stars as he begins his bid for major glory at The Open alongside Jon Rahm and Justin Rose at Royal Liverpool on Thursday
McIlroy will be hoping to end his nine-year major drought at Hoylake this weekend after claiming form with a superb performance at the Scottish Open with McIlroy partnering Masters champions John Rahm and Justin Rose.
Rory McIlroy avoided pairing up with the LIV golf stars, after tee times were confirmed for the first day of action at The Open.
The 34-year-old, who won The Open last time it was held at Hoylake in 2014, will be looking to follow up his Scottish Open success and end his nine-year major drought.
He has been grouped with Masters champion John Rahm and former world No. 1 Justin Rose for the first two rounds of the 151st edition of The Open.
Fans will have to wait to see McIlroy in action on Thursday, as he tees off at 2.59pm – before an earlier 9.58am start on Friday.
Cameron Smith is the defending champion, and has been placed on the opposite side of the draw with US Open winners Wyndham Clarke and Xander Schaffel.
Rory McIlroy has been paired with Justin Rose and John Rahm for the start of the Open
McIlroy has partnered Justin Rose (left) and Jon Rahm (right) in the first two rounds.
McIlroy hopes to repeat his success at Hoylake from the 2014 Open Championship
Among the other notable players involved, world number 1 Scotty Scheffler is in the group ahead of Smith alongside Tommy Fleetwood and Adam Scott.
LIV Golf’s Brooks Koepka also has a morning tee time with world No. 4 Patrick Cantley and Hideki Katsuyama.
Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth is placed with Matt Fitzpatrick and Jason Day.
Phil Mickelson is with Nick Taylor and Adam Schenck at 3.23pm and Bryson DeChambeau is with Cameron Young and Kim Si-woo at 10.20am.
McIlroy has enjoyed ideal preparation this weekend as he bids to end his long major drought.
He traveled to Hoyle on Sunday afternoon after winning the Scottish Open in style – defying strong winds to birdie the final two holes and edge out home favorite Robert McIntyre by a solitary shot.
“I couldn’t say better preparation,” he told BBC Sport NI. ‘The way I played the last two holes (in Scotland) was an amazing finish and a perfect way to come into the week.
‘I had a great nine years and won a lot of tournaments but the big four eluded me. Hopefully this week is something I can change.
‘It feels good to be back here. It’s not like I think about it very often so it’s good to come back and reacquaint myself with the course. It’s nice to come back to a major venue where you’ve won, but it makes you feel a bit old.’
Action begins at 6.35am on Thursday with the final players teeing off at 4.16pm.
Notable Thursday tee times
9.03am – Jordan Spieth, Matt Fitzpatrick and Jason Day
9.36am – Patrick Cantley, Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama
9.47am – Scotty Scheffler, Tommy Fleetwood and Adam Scott
9.58am – Cameron Smith, Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clarke
10.09am – Shane Lowry, Rickie Fowler and Robert McIntyre
10.20am – Bryson DiChambeau, Si Woo-Kim and Cameron Young
2.59pm – Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose
3.10pm – Colin Morikawa, Max Homa and Tyrell Hatton
3.21pm – Phil Mickelson, Nick Taylor and Adam Schenck
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