Montgomerie to hit first shot at 145th Open

Troon, July 11

Colin Montgomerie, an honorary member of Royal Troon who knows the links course inside out, has been granted the honour of hitting the first shot at the 145th British Open there on Thursday.

The 53-year-old Scot, who had to pre-qualify for the third major championship of the year, will tee off at 0635 local time in the opening round after being paired in Monday’s draw with Australian Marc Leishman and England’s Luke Donald. Eight-time European No 1 Montgomerie, renowned as one of the finest golfers never to win a major on the main tour, is playing at the Open for the first time in six years.

World No 1 Jason Day launches his campaign at 0925 alongside American Rickie Fowler and England’s Danny Willett, the US Masters champion. Second-ranked Dustin Johnson, the hottest player in the game after winning last month’s US Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio eight days ago, tees off at 1404 with German Martin Kaymer and Russell Knox of Scotland.

Third-ranked Jordan Spieth will have England’s Justin Rose and Shane Lowry of Ireland for company when he starts at 0903 on Thursday. World No 4 Rory McIlroy plays alongside big-hitting American Bubba Watson and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama at 0936.