Woods drawn with McDowell and Oosthuizen at Muirfield

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: World number one Tiger Woods has been drawn to play alongside former US Open champion Graeme McDowell and South African Louis Oosthuizen in the first two rounds of this week’s British Open at Muirfield. The trio will tee-off at 1445 local time (1345 GMT) on Thursday and at 0944 on Friday. Second-ranked Rory McIlroy has been grouped with American left-hander Phil Mickelson, last week’s Scottish Open winner, and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. Woods, who will be making his first competitive appearance since last month’s US Open in Pennsylvania, played nine holes in practice on Sunday. The 14-times major winner said he still needed medication and treatment on his injured left elbow. He had been suffering with minor discomfort ahead of the US Open at Merion where he aggravated the problem and was seen wincing and shaking his arm on several occasions. “I started chipping and putting a little over a week ago and I’m full go for the British Open,” the 37-year-old American said on his website (www.tigerwoods.com) on Saturday. “I’m very confident my elbow strain won’t be a problem and I will be able to hit all the shots I need to hit. “The big thing at Muirfield will be to avoid the rough,” added Woods. “Although I have been playing every day I also have to get back into a competitive feel.” Woods is making his second appearance at a Muirfield-hosted British Open after finishing tied 28th in 2002. “My first visit didn’t go very well. I caught the worst of the weather,” he said. “That’s just the nature of links golf. Luck plays a big part in it and you never know what you’re going to get.” World number seven McDowell is one of golf’s hottest players this year, having won the World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria, the RBC Heritage in South Carolina and this month’s French Open in Versailles. Oosthuizen won the British Open, golf’s oldest major, at St Andrews in 2010. Title holder Ernie Els, US Open winner Justin Rose and American Brandt Snedeker feature in another marquee three-ball at 0911 in Thursday’s opening round at Muirfield. US Masters champion Adam Scott has been drawn to play with American Matt Kuchar and Britain’s Luke Donald at 1412. Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia play alongside former US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa while the fans will be squinting into the distance if they choose to follow the big-hitting group of Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and US Ryder Cup duo Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.