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Trio grande: Tiger, with McDowell and Oosthuizen

Updated: 2013-07-17 07:13
( China Daily)

World No 1 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 14:45 local time on Thursday and at 09:44 on Friday.

Second-ranked Rory McIlroy has been grouped with American left-hander Phil Mickelson, this week's Scottish Open winner, and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

Woods, making his first competitive appearance since last month's US Open in Pennsylvania, played nine holes in practice on Sunday.

The 14-time 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 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," said 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 for 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 No 7 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.

Defending champion Ernie Els, US Open winner Justin Rose and American Brandt Snedeker feature in another marquee group that will tee-off on Thursday.

US Masters champion Adam Scott has been drawn to play with American Matt Kuchar and Britain's Luke Donald.


(China Daily 07/17/2013 page22)