'Monty' honoured to hit first shot at home Open
COLIN Montgomerie, an honorary member of Royal Troon who knows the links course inside out, has been granted the honour of hitting the first shot at the 145th British Open there tomorrow.
The 53-year-old Scot, who had to pre-qualify for the third major championship of the year, will tee off at 6.35am local time (1.35pm Singapore time) in the opening round after being paired in Monday's draw with Australian Marc Leishman and England's Luke Donald.
Eight-time European number one Montgomerie, renowned as one of the finest golfers never to win a major on the main tour, is playing at the Open for the first time in six years.
World number one Jason Day launches his campaign at 9.25am local time alongside American Rickie Fowler and England's Danny Willett, the US Masters champion.
Second-ranked Dustin Johnson, the hottest player in the game after winning last month's US Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio eight days ago, tees off at 2.04pm local time with German Martin Kaymer and Russell Knox of Scotland.
Third-ranked Jordan Spieth will have England's Justin Rose and Shane Lowry of Ireland for company when he starts at 9.03am local time tomorrow.
World number four Rory McIlroy plays alongside big-hitting American Bubba Watson and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama at 9.36am.
"It's great to have the honour of hitting the very first shot at your own course," Montgomerie told reporters.
"Everything that happens after that first shot is a bonus and I'm looking forward to walking the fairways and looking forward to the week ahead."