Jordan Spieth will begin his bid for the third leg of an unprecedented grand slam alongside one of the men he narrowly defeated to win the second.
Spieth, who won the first two majors of the year, has been paired with Dustin Johnson for the opening two rounds of the 144th Open at St Andrews, with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama making up the 9:33am tee time on Thursday.
Johnson had a 12-foot putt on the 72nd hole to win the US Open, but saw his eagle attempt slide four feet past the hole and he missed the birdie attempt to force a play-off.
Spieth will replace Rory McIlroy as world No 1 if he wins the 144th Open Championship and completes the third leg of an unprecedented calendar grand slam.
Spieth’s play-off victory in the John Deere Classic on Sunday means he can overtake McIlroy, who has been ruled out of his title defence with an ankle injury, in the rankings by lifting the Claret Jug at St Andrews.
The 21-year-old’s decision to compete in Illinois, where he won his first PGA Tour title in 2013, rather than contest the Scottish Open at Gullane or practise on links courses in Britain has been questioned by the likes of former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.
But the Masters and US Open champion had no doubts it was the right decision after defeating veteran Tom Gillis on the second extra hole.
“I really didn’t care anyway,” Spieth said. “I came here for a reason, and we accomplished that reason, and certainly have some momentum going into next week. This tournament means a lot to me. This is a tournament I truly love.
“I’ve got plenty in the tank. Leading into the Masters, those couple of weeks right before could have taken a lot out of me with a runner-up finish and then a play-off loss, and we rebounded nicely.”
Spieth is a strong favourite for the Open despite only having played one round at the Old Course before the 2011 Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen, with US Open runner-up Johnson and Rickie Fowler next in the betting.
Fowler’s win at Gullane has lifted him to a career-high fifth in the world rankings and the 26-year-old is now hoping to emulate Phil Mickelson in 2013 by winning the Scottish Open and Open Championship in consecutive weeks.
Former world No 1 Tiger Woods, who won the Open at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005 and spent the weekend practising at the Old Course, fell from 226th in the rankings to 241st.
Tee-off times in the first round of the 144th Open Championship, St Andrews Old
Course, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, all times Local):
* denotes amateurs
0632 Thomas Bjorn (Den), Greg Owen, Rod Pampling (Aus)
0643 Todd Hamilton (USA), *Paul Dunne, James Hahn (USA)
0654 Graham Delaet (Can), Brian Harman (USA), Russell Knox
0705 Alexander Levy (Fra), Matt Every (USA), David Lingmerth (Swe)
0716 Robert Streb (USA), Joost Luiten (Ned), Matt Jones (Aus)
0727 *Jordan Niebrugge (USA), Anthony Wall, Byeong-Hun An (Kor)
0738 Sandy Lyle, Charley Hoffman (USA), Kevin Na (USA)
0749 Shane Lowry, Retief Goosen (Rsa), Kevin Streelman (USA)
0800 Luke Donald, Hunter Mahan (USA), Carl Pettersson (Swe)
0811 Billy Horschel (USA), Victor Dubuisson (Fra), Ross Fisher
0822 *Oliver Schniederjans (USA), Webb Simpson (USA), Graeme McDowell
0833 Ernie Els (Rsa), Brandt Snedeker (USA), Tom Watson (USA)
0844 J.B. Holmes (USA), Brendon Todd (USA), Shinji Tomimura (Jpn)
0900 Bubba Watson (USA), Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa)
0911 Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia (Spa), Patrick Reed (USA)
0922 Matteo Manassero (Ita), *Romain Langasque (Fra), Darren Clarke
0933 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Dustin Johnson (USA), Jordan Spieth (USA)
0944 Kevin Kisner (USA), Paul Lawrie, Ryan Palmer (USA)
0955 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Jason Day (Aus), Tiger Woods (USA)
1006 Brooks Koepka (USA), John Senden (Aus), Tadahiro Takayama (Jpn)
1017 Stewart Cink (USA), Ben Curtis (USA), David Duval (USA)
1028 Greg Chalmers (Aus), Mikko Ilonen (Fin), David Howell
1039 David Hearn (Can), Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Eddie Pepperell
1050 Tyrrell Hatton, Scott Arnold (Aus), *Paul Kinnear
1101 Daniel Brooks, Adam Bland (Aus), Gary Boyd
1112 Jonathan Moore (USA), Scott Hend (Aus), Ryan Fox (Nzl)
1133 Marcel Siem (Ger), Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa), Mark Calcavecchia (USA)
1144 Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Jonas Blixt (Swe), David Lipsky (USA)
1155 Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Morgan Hoffmann (USA), Danny Lee (Nzl)
1206 Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Cameron Tringale (USA), Richie Ramsay
1217 Ben Martin (USA), Hiroshi Iwata (Jpn), Steven Bowditch (Aus)
1228 George Coetzee (Rsa), Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa)
1239 Wen-Chong Liang (Chn), Padraig Harrington, Marc Warren
1250 John Daly (USA), Jason Dufner (USA), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa)
1301 Zach Johnson (USA), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Tommy Fleetwood
1312 Gary Woodland (USA), Danny Willett, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)
1323 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Francesco Molinari (Ita), Bill Haas (USA)
1334 Mark O’Meara (USA), Russell Henley (USA), (a) Gunn Yang (Kor)
1345 Bernhard Langer (Ger), Tom Lehman (USA), Justin Leonard (USA)
1401 Ryan Moore (USA), Hiroyuki Fujita (Jpn), Stephen Gallacher
1412 Martin Kaymer (Ger), Jimmy Walker (USA), Adam Scott (Aus)
1423 Jamie Donaldson, Yuta Ikeda (Jpn), Keegan Bradley (USA)
1434 Matt Kuchar (USA), Phil Mickelson (USA), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
1445 Rickie Fowler (USA), Justin Rose, Nick Faldo
1456 Branden Grace (Rsa), Jim Furyk (USA), Paul Casey
1507 *Ashley Chesters, Harris English (USA), Andy Sullivan
1518 Koumei Oda (Jpn), Marc Leishman (Aus), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha)
1529 Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Romain Wattel (Fra), James Morrison
1540 Mark Young, Daniel Berger (USA), Pelle Edberg (Swe)
1551 Ben Taylor, Brett Rumford (Aus), Tom Gillis (USA)
1602 Alister Balcombe, Scott Strange (Aus), Marcus Fraser (Aus)
1613 Taichi Teshima (Jpn), Robert Dinwiddie, Rikard Karlberg (Swe)