July 19, 2012; St. Annes, ENGLAND; Tiger Woods tees off on the 5th hole during the first round of the 2012 British Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

British Open 2012: Tiger Posts 3-Under; Adam Scott Leads At 6-Under

The British Open is officially underway, and the world's biggest names are tackling everything Royal Lytham & St. Annes has to offer. View the full leaderboard.

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14 Total Updates since July 19, 2012
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British Open 2012: Royal Lytham Brings Phil Mickelson To His Knees

When you’re crawling around on your knees trying to find your golf ball in the deepest of deep rough, you can pretty much kiss your round goodbye. Phil Mickelson, who deployed a search-and-rescue mission to find his ball on the eighth hole, can certainly relate.

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It hasn’t been a comfortable start to Mickelson’s 2012 British Open Championship, what with three balls in the junk, an unplayable, a double-bogey and three bogeys for an outgoing 3-over-par 37. He found the nasty fescue for the first time on the third hole, and on the seventh, he and caddie Jim Mackay had an animated discussion about whether to take a drop and a penalty shot.

"I could be in here forever if I don’t take an unplayable," Mickelson said to his long-time bagman. "It’s possible it won’t come out ... I don’t want to hurt myself."

After Mackay ended up talking his man out of the drop, Mickelson skidded his next shot into the rough across the fairway. His result on what had been playing as the easiest hole on the course: double-bogey 7.

A fuming Mickelson then hit his tee shot from the eighth with an iron to the front of a pot bunker. His second shot carried the steep face of the sand but plugged in even juicier stuff atop the bunker. After much digging around, aided by an army of volunteers that included playing partner Luke Donald, Lefty finally found his ball embedded. He got no relief, however, since it was nowhere near the closely mown areas from which golfers may take drops without penalty.

A "good" bogey later, and it was on to the par-3 ninth, where Mickelson flew the green from the tee and ended up with yet another bogey. Mickelson finally made something happen on the 10th, when a birdie putt from just off the front of the green found the bottom of the cup.

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British Open 2012: Tiger Woods' Round Threatened By 'Almost Unplayable' Rough

Tiger Woods got off to a solid start with four birdies in his first seven holes and had not missed a fairway and only three greens well into Thursday’s first round at Royal Lytham. And then he got to the 15th tee and after one errant shot, faced the possibility of playing himself out of the 2012 British Open.

As if to prove his pre-tourney complaint that England’s record-breaking wet weather had made the dreaded rough “almost unplayable,” Woods’ errant tee shot found the deep, wispy fescue with the treacherous soggy grass underneath. Again, as if on cue, Woods stood in the knee-high fescue and took a mighty swipe at the ball, which, after the lush, sodden grasses and vines caught his iron’s shaft and hossel and shut the club face, moved maybe 120 yards, but farther left into the same gunge.

If the analysts at ESPN were right, It looked like curtains for Woods’ chances to win his 15th major.

“He can really hurt his chances here,” Paul Azinger said as Woods surveyed his next shot from the deep stuff. “This is a big moment. ... It’s early on but this may be one of those moment when you look back on the week and ask is this where it all went away.”

Perhaps if Woods comes up one shot short on Sunday, he’ll point to Thursday’s adventure on 15 as the reason. But despite Curtis Strange opining that “there’s not much you can do” from where the ball resided in about five inches of healthy grass below the wispy fescue, Woods wound up with a massive back swing and made a steep, hard swing with a short follow-through and muscled the ball onto the green.

“The rough actually grabbed the shaft and turned it down, it didn’t get to the hossel part of it it, grabbed the shaft, so I didn’t have a chance,” Woods told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi after his round. “The first [lie] was worse. [The second] one was decent. I felt like I could at least get to the front edge of the green.”

That he did, and though he could not sink the long par putt, he would have to consider a five to be a good bogey after his errant tee shot. Three tidy pars to finish put Woods at 3-under 67 -- just three shots back of morning-wave leader Adam Scott, who flirted with a 62.

“I’m right there,” Woods said. “I’m only three back. Adam played a beautiful round of golf today and I’m right there.”

Scott, with Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams on the bag, knew he needed a birdie on the 18th to post the lowest-ever score in a major. He pulled his tee shot into the rough, however, and had to settle for a bogey and a 64.

Woods’ 67 by the way, was the same opening score he posted in 2006 at Hoylake, which just happens to be the last time he won an Open Championship.


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Tiger Woods Opens 2012 British Open With Strong Round

Tiger Woods started his quest for major number 15 on a positive note Thursday at the 2012 British Open, firing a 3-under 67 and placing himself in a tie for fourth place.

His round started with a birdie at the par-3 first hole to quickly reach red numbers, followed by three additional birdies to close out his front nine with a 30. At that time Woods was tied for the lead with Adam Scott, who also put on a show of his own. Woods would struggle slightly on his back nine, however, recording eight pars and one bogie on the par-4 No. 15 hole at Royal Lytham after getting caught-up in heavy rough.

What was most impressive about his opening round was Woods' ability to keep the ball in play. Tiger hit all but one fairway during his round (13/14, 93 percent) and managed to hit 15 out of 18 greens in regulation (83 percent). Both statistics were better than the rest of his fellow competitors in the field, and by a wide margin (63 and 59 percent, respectively).

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British Open 2012 Leaderboard: Adam Scott Leading, Tiger On The Prowl

The first round of the 2012 British Open is well underway as most players started their rounds while many of us in the United States were sleeping. Adam Scott has emerged as the first round leader with a stellar 6-under score of 64 Thursday; however, a few familiar faces are hot on his heels, including one Tiger Woods.

Scott was on pace to shoot the lowest round in major tournament history before slipping a bit on his final two holes of the day en route to his 64. His round consisted of eight birdies overall, but a bogie on his final hole may leave a sour taste in his mouth leading into Friday's second round.

Woods had a taste of the lead early in his round but fell back in the pack ever so slightly. He is currently playing No. 16 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and currently stands at 3-under for the tournament. Paul Lawrie and Zach Johnson are tied for second position after a pair of 65's, while former major-winner Graeme McDowell holds steady in fourth position at 4-under par.

See the up-to-date leaderboard here.

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British Open 2012: TV Coverage, Streaming, Live Updates And More

2012's edition of the British Open tees off in the wee hours of Thursday morning, but fans will still be able to get live Open Championship golf via online streams and television.

ESPN will begin coverage from Royal Lytham & St. Annes at 4:30 a.m. Eastern, but ESPN3 will have live streaming golf from the Nos. 9-11 holes on the course and more comprehensive coverage starting at 4:00 a.m. Eastern. ESPN3 adds streaming coverage from the No. 1 and No. 18 holes at 5:00 a.m. Eastern, not quite in time to see the first swings of a slew of prominent golfers. Three-time British Open champion Tiger Woods, 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson and defending Open Championship champion Darren Clarke all tee off in the 4:00 a.m. Eastern hour.

ESPN's TV coverage will last most of the day, with live coverage lasting from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. on ESPN, followed by a recap show from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and select highlights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ESPN3 will mirror ESPN's live coverage until 3 p.m.

For more on the tournament, stick with our 2012 British Open StoryStream. For more from around the world of golf, head over to SB Nation's golf hub page.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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British Open 2012: Tee Times And Groupings For Thursday

The 2012 British Open tees off on Thursday, but it'll be a really early morning for those Americans who want to catch the action from Royal Lytham and St. Annes live. The first and second day British Open pairings are set, but what groups are really worth watching?

The most obvious must-see group for the avid golf fan includes both 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson and world No. 3 Lee Westwood, still in search of his first major. It goes off at 4:20 a.m. Eastern, or not too early. And if you want to catch Tiger Woods, you're in luck: he tees off with Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia just 22 minutes later at 4:42 a.m. EDT.

Defending British Open champion Darren Clarke is in a compelling group with Ernie Els and Zach Johnson (both of whom have major titles), and that threesome goes off at 4:09 a.m., which isn't that much earlier than Watson and Westwood.

But if you want a good night's sleep on Wednesday, you'll still be able to catch a couple of premier groups. Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and Keegan Bradley form one triumvirate of players with majors at 9:21 a.m., and Phil Mickelson headlines a group with world No. 1 Luke Donald and U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy that tees off at 9:43 a.m. EDT.

Of course, if you want to wake up earlier, or not go to sleep at all, there will be plenty of action for you beginning in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Here's the full listing of 2012 British Open first round groupings and tee times.

1:30 a.m. ET -- Barry Lane, James Driscoll, Garth Mulroy
1:41 a.m. ET -- Matthew Baldwin, Adilson Da Silva, Tadahiro Takayama
1:52 a.m. ET -- Rafa Echenique, Kodai Ichihara, John Huh
2:03 a.m. ET -- Sandy Lyle, Todd Hamilton, Mark Calcavecchia
2:14 a.m. ET -- Alejandro Canizares, Jeev Milkha Singh, Greg Chalmers
2:25 a.m. ET -- John Daly, Chad Campbell, Michael Hoey
2:36 a.m. ET -- Thongchai Jaidee, Justin Leonard, Simon Khan
2:47 a.m. ET -- David Duval, Raphael Jacquelin, Miguel Angel Jimenez
2:58 a.m. ET -- Stephen Ames, Robert Rock, Kyle Stanley
3:09 a.m. ET -- Stewart Cink, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Johnson Wagner
3:20 a.m. ET -- Jamie Donaldson, Bill Haas, Y.E. Yang
3:31 a.m. ET -- Davis Love III, Tim Clark, Paul Lawrie
3:42 a.m. ET -- Adam Scott, Alan Dunbar (A), Matt Kuchar
3:58 a.m. ET -- Vijay Singh, Nick Watney, Ian Poulter
4:09 a.m. ET -- Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Zach Johnson
4:20 a.m. ET -- Lee Westwood, Yoshinori Fujimoto, Bubba Watson
4:31 a.m. ET -- Dustin Johnson, Graeme Mcdowell, Hiroyuki Fujita
4:42 a.m. ET -- Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia
4:53 a.m. ET -- Ryo Ishikawa, Martin Kaymer, Tom Watson
5:04 a.m. ET -- Thomas Bjorn, Aaron Baddeley, Charl Schwartzel
5:15 a.m. ET -- Jason Dufner, Martin Laird, Kevin Na
5:26 a.m. ET -- James Morrison, Daniel Chopra, Joost Luiten
5:37 a.m. ET -- Thorbjorn Olesen, Troy Matteson, Thomas Aiken
5:48 a.m. ET -- Brad Kennedy, Mardan Mamat, Steven Tiley
5:59 a.m. ET -- Warren Bennett, Aaron Townsend, Grant Veenstra
6:10 a.m. ET -- Dale Whitnell, Sam Walker, Elliot Saltman
6:31 a.m. ET -- Bob Estes, Steven O'Hara, Brendan Jones
6:42 a.m. ET -- Juvic Pagunsan, Scott Pinckney, Nicholas Cullen
6:53 a.m. ET -- Steven Alker, Lee Slattery, Russ Cochran
7:04 a.m. ET -- Tom Lehman, Pablo Larrazabal, Greg Owen
7:15 a.m. ET -- Marcel Siem, George Coetzee, Chez Reavie
7:26 a.m. ET -- Marcus Fraser, Lucas Glover, Gregory Havret
7:37 a.m. ET -- Charles Howell III, Paul Broadhurst, Richard Sterne
7:48 a.m. ET -- Carl Pettersson, K.T. Kim, Gary Woodland
7:59 a.m. ET -- Ben Curtis, Paul Casey, Trevor Immelman
8:10 a.m. ET -- Robert Karlsson, Mark Wilson, Branden Grace
8:21 a.m. ET -- Harris English, Simon Dyson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
8:32 a.m. ET -- Angel Cabrera, K.J. Choi, Ross Fisher
8:43 a.m. ET -- Jonathan Byrd, Sang-Moon Bae, Alvaro Quiros
8:59 a.m. ET -- Nicolas Colsaerts, Hunter Mahan, John Senden
9:10 a.m. ET -- Bo Van Pelt, Francesco Molinari, Toshinori Muto
9:21 a.m. ET -- Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Keegan Bradley
9:32 a.m. ET -- Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington, Manuel Trappel (A)
9:43 a.m. ET -- Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy
9:54 a.m. ET -- Steve Stricker, Toru Taniguchi, Anders Hansen
10:05 a.m. ET -- Peter Hanson, Retief Goosen, Robert Allenby
10:16 a.m. ET -- Jim Furyk, Koumei Oda, Fredrik Jacobson
10:27 a.m. ET -- Marc Leishman, Brandt Snedeker, Alexander Noren
10:38 a.m. ET -- Andres Romero, Jbe Kruger, Richie Ramsay
10:49 a.m. ET -- Ted Potter Jr, Ian Keenan, Andrew Georgiou
11:00 a.m. ET -- Troy Kelly, Morten Orum Madsen, Anirban Lahiri
11:11 a.m. ET -- Prayad Marksaeng, Justin Hicks, Ashley Hall

For more on the tournament, stick with our 2012 British Open StoryStream. For more from around the world of golf, head over to SB Nation's golf hub page.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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British Open 2012: Championship Contenders To Watch This Week

The British Open is officially underway, and the world's biggest names are tackling everything Royal Lytham & St. Annes has to offer. But who has the best chance this week?

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