Montgomerie tees off 145th Open Championship


Colin Montgomerie hit the first tee shot at the 145th Open Championship on Thursday as Royal Troon braced itself for four days of thrilling action.

The veteran Scot, competing at The Open for what is likely to be the last time, was in the first group alongside 2015 play-off loser Marc Leishman and two-time top-five finisher Luke Donald.

In bright conditions on the west coast of Scotland, all three opted for irons and found the fairway on the short par-four first hole.

Leading contenders Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy are scheduled to go out after 0900BST and will draw the biggest crowds at the South Ayrshire links course.

Defending champion Zach Johnson will step up to the first tee at 1415BST, shortly after the in-form Dustin Johnson has launched his bid for a second consecutive major title.

The last time Troon hosted the Open back in 2004, rank outsider Todd Hamilton prevailed to make it six American winners in a row at the venue.