Jul 16th, 2019
The 148th Open Tee Times
Clarke to hit opening shot
Words: Martin Spiller
Darren Clarke will hit the opening tee shot at The 148th Open, while fellow local favourite Rory McIlroy is paired with US Open champion Gary Woodland for the opening two rounds at Royal Portrush, which we cannot wait to see!
At 6.35am on Thursday, local boy and 2011 Open Champion Clarke will kick off the first Open to be held in Northern Ireland for 68 years. He is partnered by Irish amateur James Sugrue and American Charlie Hoffman.
Clarke met his late wife Heather in a nightclub in Portrush and owns a house overlooking the course. When asked about hitting the opening shot the big man said “Mr. Slumbers asked me about three weeks ago if I would do them the honour of hitting the opening tee shot. And it's Royal Portrush and when The R&A asked you, it's a definite yes. I said I'd love it.”
McIlroy, another local boy and course record holder at Portrush, which was set when he was 16, begins his quest for a first Claret Jug in five years at 10.09am, with Woodland and England’s Paul Casey.
GolfPunk favourite and a Portrush native Graeme McDowell is off at 9.14am, alongside 2016 winner Henrik Stenson and one of last year’s runners-up Xander Schauffele.
No-one in the field has more major wins or Claret Jugs than three-time Champion Golfer Tiger Woods, who is in another marquee group at 3.10pm with talented Englishman Matt Wallace and 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed.
Reigning Champion Francesco Molinari starts his title defence at 9.58am, with Adam Scott and Bryson DeChambeau as playing partners and world No.1 Brooks Koepka tees off at 1.04pm alongside 2010 winner Louis Oosthuizen and Shubhankar Sharma.
Selected Thursday tee times:
6.35am – Darren Clarke, James Sugrue (A), Charley Hoffman
7.30am – Padraig Harrington, Matt Fitzpatrick, Andrew Putnam
7.52am – Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace
9.14am – Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Graeme McDowell
9.58am – Francesco Molinari, Adam Scott, Bryson DeChambeau
10.09am – Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Gary Woodland
10.20am – Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner
12.53pm – Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas, Thorbjorn Olesen
1.04pm – Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Shubhankar Sharma
1.26pm – Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Danny Willett
2.48pm – Tony Finau, Lucas Bjerregaard, Justin Rose
2.59pm – Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
3.10pm – Tiger Woods, Matthew Wallace, Patrick Reed
3.21pm – Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay
For full list of tee times click HERE
And another thing....