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Rory McIlroy to begin Open campaign alongside Bubba Watson

2014 champion Rory McIlroy is grouped with Bubba Watson and Hideki Matsuyama in the first two rounds of The Open.

Former Open champion Rory McIlroy will begin his campaign at Royal Troon grouped with Bubba Watson and Hideki Matsuyama in the first two rounds.

The Northern Irishman, who took home the Claret Jug in 2014, failed to defend his title last year as he withdrew from the Major due to an ankle injury.

On Thursday, though, the 27-year-old will be in the field as he tees off at 9.36am alongside Watson and Matsuyama.

At 9.25am, world number one Jason Day, American Rickie Fowler and Masters champion Danny Willett will get their campaigns underway, while two-time Major winner Jordan Spieth will make his way around the course with Justin Rose and Shane Lowry.

US Open champion Dustin Johnson, who recently won back-to-back tournaments, will tee off in the afternoon at 2.04pm alongside Martin Kaymer and Russell Knox.

Colin Montgomerie will hit the opening tee shot at 6.35am, and he has been grouped with Marc Leishman and Luke Donald, while defending champion Zach Johnson is grouped with Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson.

Selected tee times at The Open:

6.35am - Colin Montgomerie, Marc Leishman (Aus), Luke Donald
9.03am - Jordan Spieth (USA), Justin Rose, Shane Lowry (Irl)
9.25am - Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler (USA), Jason Day (Aus)
9.36am - Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Bubba Watson (USA)
1.26pm - Phil Mickelson (USA), Lee Westwood, Ernie Els (Rsa)
2.04pm - Dustin Johnson (USA), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Russell Knox (Sco)
2.15pm - Zach Johnson (USA), Adam Scott (USA), Henrik Stenson (Swe)

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