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'Dawgs on Tour: The English Variety (aka The Open Championship)

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

This is a recycled title, but hey? Who doesn't love English Bulldogs? And English golf? And with this weekend's announcement, it's pretty relevant. Alright, technically this week's tournament is in Scotland, but that's like saying the West Bank isn't part of.... nevermind.

So we're in Scotland for The Open Championship, also known as the British Open. We'll not debate the two names here, but you can in the comments below. What isn't contested is that this is the home of golf, having been played here for hundreds of years. And this is the oldest tournament still in existence (and likely the oldest tournament ever outside of the Pleistocene Open Sponsored by Dr. Pepper.)

The third major of the year, The Open has the third weakest field after The Masters. This is because many European and other smaller Tour players are able to qualify - and since the Royal & Ancient (governing body) want this to be an inclusive championship, the other Tours get that chance to put their best players forward. But the world's best want to be here too. Unless you're Rory McIlroy, in which case you'd rather have a spot of soccer with your pub buddies and tear your ACL instead of defending your crown in The Open. Yes, that really happened. But all the rest will be in attendance on this particular rock.

Besides our usual cast of characters who used to matriculate in Athens but are now playing professional golf, there's another UGA connection to St. Andrews:

We have 7 former Bulldogs qualified, but only 6** in the field, and that is as respectable as you can get. Here are tee times for the first round. Note that being this close to the North Sea, you can have some unpredictable weather. And oftentimes, a morning group gets drenched and blown about, while the afternoon groups have calm winds and fair skies. And the opposite happens as well. This really affects scores and so is just luck of the draw as to the weather you'll get.

Thursday Round 1 Tee Times:

Bubba Watson 9:00 local, 4:00 AM ET. Playing with Ian Poulter and Charl Schwartzel.

Brian Harman 6:54 local, 1:54 AM ET. Playing with Russell Knox and Graham DeLaet.

Russell Henley 1:34 pm local, 8:34 AM ET. Playing with Mark O'Meara and Gunn Yang (US Amateur champ)

Kevin Kisner 9:44 local, 4:44 AM ET. Playing with Ryan Palmer and Paul Lawrie.

Brendon Todd 8:44 local, 3:44 AM ET. Playing with JB Holmes, and Tomimura-san from Japan.

Harris English 3:07 pm local, 10:07 AM ET. Playing with Ashley and Sullivan, both brits but not highly ranked.

**Chris Kirk - withdrew from The Open this weekend, and has apparently broken his hand while playing with his son. More details as I can sniff them out.

Notable Groupings

And here's a few groups that you might want to follow or pay attention to. Some are for reasons of the golf, some are for the sideshow, and some are sentimental. You categorize them as you dare.

Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama at 9:33 am local, 4:33 am ET. Spieth is going for the 3rd leg in the calendar grand slam, mostly because Johnson three-putted on 18 at the US Open and gave it to him. Spieth also won last week on Tour and is leading the US money list with 4 victories and a ton of other top finishes. Matsuyama is also a winner and is playing as solid as anyone.

Tiger Woods is paired with Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen at 9:55 am local, 4:55 am ET. Day infamously had severe vertigo at the US Open but was a heavy favorite and contended until Sunday. Oosthuizen won this in 2010 and has a 2nd in the Masters, and ended up 2nd in the US Open. Tiger is... well, he's Tiger.

Phil Mickelson is playing with Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar at 2:34 pm local and 9:34 am ET. Stenson is top 5 in the world which speaks volumes, and Kuchar is Mr. Consistency (even though he graduated from Dr. Paul Johnson's Institute of Chop-Blocking Technology).

Justin Rose, Sir Nick Faldo and Rickie Fowler tee off at 2:45 pm local, 9:45 am ET. Should be good golf except for Faldo, who has three Claret Jugs to his name and is bowing out after this year.

John Daly, Jason Dufner, and Miguel Angel Jimenez will be playing together the first two rounds. Yes, Daly won this tourney at this course in 1995, but he's a clown now. Dufner went to Auubrn and roots for them, but he's now known for dramatic weight loss and divorcing his hot wife (who is rumoured to have cheated with Tiger Woods).  And Jimenez is often referred to as "the most interesting man in the world". He has fun, smokes plenty of fine cigars, loves wine and fast cars, and just does all right for a guy in his 50's.

TV Coverage

Due to it's geographical location, the sun gets up early and goes to bed late, so they can spread out the tee times even with all golfers going off the 1st tee each day (as opposed to half the field starting on number 10). And that means there's a lot of golf to be viewed. ESPN has the TV rights and will begin broadcasting at 4:00 am ET Thursday and Friday, probably ending their coverage early to mid afternoon. Saturday's round will be on TV starting at 7:00 am ET, and Sunday starts at 6:00 am ET. WatchESPN is available for all of the TV coverage so you can check in while you're on the go.

We're planning on open threads for each day, but let us know who your favorite is and who is going to be named The Champion Golfer of the Year. And, by the way, Go 'Dawgs!!!