MANILA, Philippines - Juvic Pagunsan drew two unfancied players and a late start in his major debut at the British Open which unwraps tomorrow at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Lancashire in England.
Pagunsan, the reigning Asian Tour No. 1, will play alongside American Scott Pinckney and Nicholas Cullen of Australian, a pair of fellow lesser lights going up against the world’s best in the third of this year’s four world major championships.
The smooth-swinging Filipino ace is thrilled over his first stint in a tournament of this magnitude although he had played with the big guns in the Dubai Desert Classic and the World Championship in Doral although this marks the first time that Pagunsan will be playing on a links course.
They will tee off at 11:42 a.m. when playing condition is expected to get tough.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods will get his bid for a fourth Open victory underway as he starts at 9:42 a.m. with Englishman Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia of Spain.
Defending champion Darren Clark will be up against Ernie Els, and 2007 Masters champion, Zach Johnson, who comes into The Open on a high after winning last week’s John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour. The Northern Irelander, South African and American go out at 9:09 a.m.
Elsewhere, Clarke’s ISM management group stablemate, Lee Westwood, goes out at 9:20 a.m. alongside reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson, and Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto.
Duvid Duval, the champion the last time The Open was staged at Royal Lytham & St Annes back in 2001 is in the group at 7:47 a.m. alongside Frenchman, Raphael Jacquelin and Spanish veteran, Miguel Angel Jimenez, while reigning Amateur champion, Alan Dunbar, from Northern Ireland, is paired with Australia’s Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar, winner of this season’s Players Championship. They start at 8:42 a.m.
The honor of hitting the first shot of the day falls to English veteran Barry Lane, who starts alongside American, James Driscoll at 6:19 a.m.
Among the afternoon starters, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, the 2011 US Open champion, is paired with 2010 Open champion, Louis Oosthuizen and 2011 USPGA champion, Keegan Bradley. Their time is 2:21 p.m.
Just behind them, at 2.23 p.m, is 2007 and 2008 Open champion, Padraig Harrington, together with exciting American, Rickie Fowler, who finished tied 5th at St George’s, and 2011 European Amateur champion, Manuel Trappel from Austria.
Luke Donald, the World No. 1, heads out at 2.43 p.m. alongside Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy.