Scottish amateur Connor Syme has landed a dream draw in this week’s 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale
The 22-year-old will have John Daly, the 1995 winner at St Andrews, as one of his playing partners in the opening two rounds at the Southport venue.
On his first appearance in a major, Syme will also have Australian Adam Bland for company on Thursday and Friday on the Lancashire coast.
Syme, who secured his spot in the event through one of the final qualifiers just under a fortnight ago, is among seven Scots in this week’s field.
First into the fray out of that ‘Tartan Army’ on Thursday is former champion Sandy Lyle, who walked off here after just 10 holes in the first round nine years ago.
Lyle, who was 11-over-par at the time, was criticised by then R&A chief executive Peter Dawson for quitting in tough weather conditions on the opening morning.
The 59-year-old is out in the third match on this occasion, partnering 2009 winner Stewart Cink and Korea’s Jeunghun Wang.
Mark O’Meara, the winner here in 1998, has been handed the honour of hitting the opening shot of the event at 6.35am.
Englishman Chris Wood, who shone as an amateur here in 2008, is also in the first group along with Ryan Moore, who secured victory for the US in last year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
Russell Knox will be the second Scot to set out in the first round in a group that also includes last year’s Scottish Open winner Alex Noren and Ian Poulter.
Syme’s group is out just before noon, closely followed by one featuring Martin Laird, American Brian Harman and Kiwi Michael Hendry.
Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale, who both secured their spots through the Irish Open, are in back-to-back groups in the afternoon.
Ramsay is out with Matt Kuchar and Kiwi Ryan Fox while Drysdale will have two Americans, Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman, for company on his first appearance in the event since 2009.
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 winner, will be the last of the Scots to enter the action in the first round, heading out at 2.37pm along with American Kevin Chappell and Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson is out in the morning along with Players Championship winner Si Woo Kim and Jordan Spieth, with US Open winner Brooks Koepka two groups back with Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen.
World No 1 Dustin Johnson is in the pick of the afternoon groups with Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel.