When the first round of the British Open begins on Thursday, it will mark the 16th time Muirfield Golf Links has hosted the Open Championship. Live previous events, this year's Open figures to test the field of 156 of the best players in the world. While the tournament doesn't begin until Thursday, the golf world has already arrived at the legendary course.
Players began playing practice rounds on Sunday, and will continue to do so through Wednesday. Practice rounds are a way for players to get a feel for the course and how it's playing, but they can also lead to some entertaining moments. During his practice round on Monday, Phil Mickelson practiced a backwards flop shot.
Mickelson will be back on the course on Tuesday, playing a practice round with Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson. They won't be the only notable players on the course as Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson are among the players scheduled to play. In addition to practice rounds, players will also go through pre-tournament press conferences.
The first round begins on Thursday morning in Scotland which means players will begin teeing off in the early hours of Thursday morning on the East coast. Players will hit the course starting at 1:32 a.m. ET with tee times continuing until 11:13 a.m. Phil Mickelson will tee off in a group with Rory McIlroy at 4:44 a.m., while Tiger Woods will play with Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen at 9:45 a.m.
Players will remain in the same groups on Friday with the field then being cut down for the weekend. Assuming weather holds out and there are no other issues, the 142nd British Open champion will be crowned in the late afternoon on Sunday.
ESPN and Golf Channel will handle the early round television coverage with ESPN carrying live coverage. When the tournament heads to the weekend, ABC will handle the bulk of the live coverage with ESPN and Golf Channel also part of the coverage.
142nd Open Championship schedule
When: July 18-21
Where: Muirfield Golf Links, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland.
Who: 156 of the best players in the world