Lee Westwood has chosen to be “reclusive” in the build-up to this week’s British Open championship at Royal Troon. But that is bound to change once the event starts.
The former European No 1 was today paired with Tiger Woods in the opening two rounds on Thursday and Friday.
The pair will tee off along with Greg Norman at 1.42pm in the first round and at 8.31am the following morning.
“We’ve had Henmania and that’s enough,” said Westwood on his wish to stay out of spotlight.
“Just keep it low-key, stay out of the way and not get caught up in the hype. It’s probably the one time you shouldn’t do any interviews, but people who don’t cover golf week-in week-out suddenly turn up and want a piece of you.
“This year I’m not doing any and going into it fresh. I’m going to be reclusive.”
Westwood is one of only a handful of players to have won a tournament which Woods was leading with a round to play. That was the 2000 Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in Germany, the Worksop golfer coming from two behind to beat him by four with a brilliant closing 64.
He has also defeated him three out of the four times they have clashed in the Ryder Cup – first with Nick Faldo in 1997, then Darren Clarke in 1999, then Sergio Garcia at The Belfry two years.
While Westwood is still chasing his first major title Woods is seeking his ninth.
Norman, 50 next February, was Open champion at Turnberry in 1986 and Sandwich in 1993 and also lost a play-off to Mark Calcavecchia at Troon 15 years ago.
Three-time winner Nick Faldo has been drawn alongside defending champion Ben Curtis and French Open champion Jean-Francois Remesy. They go out at 2.42pm on Thursday and 9.31am on Friday.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson plays with young British hopeful Paul Casey and Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama, while world No 2 Ernie Els has England’s Luke Donald and Justin Leonard, last winner of the championship at Troon seven years ago, for company. Donald was the one paired with Woods last year.
Colin Montgomerie, who scraped into the field via a qualifying play-off, has been paired with American Frank Lickliter and also with last year’s runner-up Thomas Bjorn.
That is bound to attract close attention because of previous incidents involving the two Ryder Cup team-mates.
At last year’s Volvo Masters at Valderrama Bjorn waved goodbye as the Scot stormed off a green, throwing a ball onto a cart path and almost through a window as he went, and they had another confrontation at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Bangkok in January.
On that occasion Bjorn was furious when Montgomerie, walking over a bridge after putting a ball in water, distracted him as he was chipping. The Dane let off steam afterwards and refused to talk to Montgomerie until the tournament director was present.
Afterwards they insisted it was all smoothed over and they were friends again.
Australian Peter O’Malley hits the first shot at 6.30am and with the last tee-off time not until 4.21pm play will continue until around 9.30pm the first two days.
All 1st tee
06:30 and 11:41 Peter O’Malley (Aus), Gary Evans, Brad Faxon (USA)
06:41 and 11:52 Andrew Buckle (Aus), Mark Calcavecchia (USA), Barry Lane
06:52 and 12:03 Tom Weiskopf (USA), Craig Parry (Aus), Sandy Lyle
07:03 and 12:14 Rich Beem (USA), Brendan Jones (Aus), Paul McGinley
07:14 and 12:25 Shaun Micheel (USA), Nick Price (Zim), (x) Nick Flanagan (Aus)
07:25 and 12:36 Davis Love III (USA), Paul Lawrie, KJ Choi (Kor)
07:36 and 12:47 David Duval (USA), Carl Pettersson (Swe), Craig Perks (Nzl)
07:47 and 12:58 Chris DiMarco (USA), Scott Drummond, Rodney Pampling (Aus)
07:58 and 13:09 Ernie Els (Rsa), Justin Leonard (USA), Luke Donald
08:09 and 13:20 Mathias Gronberg (Swe), James Kingston (Rsa), Skip Kendall (USA)
08:20 and 13:31 Richard Green (Aus), Jonathan Kaye (USA), Andrew Oldcorn
08:31 and 13:42 Phil Mickelson (USA), Shigeki Maruyama (Jpn), Paul Casey
08:42 and 13:53 Chris Riley (USA), Hidemasa Hoshino (Jpn), Paul Sheehan (Aus)
08:58 and 14:09 Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn (Den), Frank Lickliter II (USA)
09:09 and 14:20 Scott Verplank (USA), Takashi Kamiyama (Jpn), Warren Bennett
09:20 and 14:31 Mathew Goggin (Aus), Graeme McDowell, Thomas Levet (Fra)
09:31 and 14:42 Sergio Garcia (Spa), Trevor Immelman (Rsa), Charles Howell III (USA)
09:42 and 14:53 Dinesh Chand (Fij), Euan Little, Kim Felton (Aus)
09:53 and 15:04 Bob Tway (USA), Paul Broadhurst, Ignacio Garrido (Spa)
10:04 and 15:15 Padraig Harrington, Stuart Appleby (Aus), Bob Estes (USA)
10:15 and 15:26 Jimmy Green (USA), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind), (x) Steven Tiley
10:26 and 15:37 Stewart Cink (USA), Hennie Otto (Rsa), Paul Wesselingh
10:37 and 15:48 Kenneth Ferrie, Andre Stolz (Aus), Martin Erlandsson (Swe)
10:48 and 15:59 Joakim Haeggman (Swe), Bo Van Pelt (USA), Sean Whiffin
10:59 and 16:10 Glen Day (USA), Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Paul Bradshaw
11:10 and 16:21 Christian Cevaer (Fra), Klas Eriksson (Swe), Barry Hume
11:41 and 06:30 Simon Dyson, Ian Poulter, SK Ho (Kor)
11:52 and 06:41 Peter Lonard (Aus), Gary Emerson, John Huston (USA)
12:03 and 06:52 John Daly (USA), Rory Sabbatini (USA), Eduardo Romero (Arg)
12:14 and 07:03 Jerry Kelly (USA), Phillip Price, Arjun Atwal (Ind)
12:25 and 07:14 David Howell, Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Mike Weir (Can)
12:36 and 07:25 Darren Clarke, Adam Scott (Aus), Kenny Perry (USA)
12:47 and 07:36 Chad Campbell (USA), Stephen Leaney (Aus), Miles Tunnicliff
12:58 and 07:47 Mark O’Meara (USA), (x) Stuart Wilson, Michael Campbell (Nzl)
13:09 and 07:58 Retief Goosen (Rsa), Robert Allenby (Aus), Jay Haas (USA)
13:20 and 08:09 Tim Herron (USA), Brian Davis, Tim Clark (Rsa)
13:31 and 08:20 Tetsuji Hiratsuka (Jpn), Steve Flesch (USA), Peter Hedblom (Swe)
13:42 and 08:31 Tiger Woods (USA), Lee Westwood, Greg Norman (Aus)
13:53 and 08:42 Scott Barr (Aus), Spike McRoy (USA), Keiichiro Fukabori (Jpn)
14:09 and 08:58 Vijay Singh (Fij), David Toms (USA), Toshi Izawa (Jpn)
14:20 and 09:09 Mark Foster, Marten Olander (Swe), Jonathan Cheetham
14:31 and 09:20 Yoshinobu Tsukada (Jpn), Steve Lowery (USA), Matthew Hazelden
14:42 and 09:31 Ben Curtis (USA), Nick Faldo, Jean Francois Remesy (Fra)
14:53 and 09:42 Anders Hansen (Den), Adam Le Vesconte (Aus), Sven Struver (Ger)
15:04 and 09:53 Cameron Beckman (USA), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Todd Hamilton (USA)
15:15 and 10:04 Jim Furyk (USA), (x) Brian McElhinney, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe)
15:26 and 10:15 Zach Johnson (USA), Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Daniel Sugrue
15:37 and 10:26 Tom Lehman (USA), Stephen Ames (Can), Andrew Willey
15:48 and 10:37 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Simon Wakefield, Ben Willman
15:59 and 10:48 Maarten Lafeber (Ned), Tjaart van der Walt (Rsa), (x) Lloyd Campbell
16:10 and 10:59 Alastair Forsyth, Hunter Mahan (USA), Lewis Atkinson
16:21 and 11:10 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Grant Muller (Rsa), Anthony Millar