British Open Golf: Lowry grouped with Rahm in first round

Other notable groups for the first two rounds include four-time champion Rory McIlroy, playing alongside American Ryder Cup rival Patrick Reed.

Lowry will come into the tournament, having finished tied for 65th place at the US Open in June.   -  AP

Defending British Open champion Shane Lowry was grouped with former winner Louis Oosthuizen and Spain's recent US Open champion Jon Rahm for the start of the year's fourth major at Sandwich on Thursday.

The first ball of the 149th championship, taking place a year late after last year's cancellation because of COVID-19, will be struck by England's Richard Bland.

"Truly an honour, something I'll remember for the rest of my life," Bland, who won his first European Tour event on his 478th start in May, said after the first-round tee times were released.

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Play will get under way at 0635 BST on the undulating Royal St George's links course alongside the English Channel on England's Kent coast.

Other notable groups for the first two rounds include four-time champion Rory McIlroy, winner of the Open in 2014, playing alongside American Ryder Cup rival Patrick Reed.

American Phil Mickelson, who won the US PGA title for his sixth major in May, aged 50, will be alongside compatriot Kevin Kisner and England's Ryder Cup player Tyrell Hatton.

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World number one Dustin Johnson tees up along with England's reigning Olympic champion Justin Rose and American Will Zalatoris while big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau will be with fellow American Jordan Spieth and South Africa's Branden Grace.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke will be joined by English amateur Joe Long and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

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