The Open 2017: Defending champion Henrik Stenson to partner Jordan Spieth

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The Open 2016: Henrik Stenson beats Phil Mickelson in final-day battle

Defending champion Henrik Stenson will partner former world number one Jordan Spieth in the first two rounds of The Open at Royal Birkdale.

Another eye-catching pairing features current world number one Dustin Johnson playing alongside Rory McIlroy.

Stenson and Spieth, who will be joined by Players champion Kim Si-woo, are among the early starters on Thursday.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia will be joined by Jason Day and Zach Johnson, the 2015 champion.

England’s Chris Wood, and Americans Mark O’Meara and Ryan Moore will be the first group away at 06:35 BST.

Stenson carded a joint-record eight-under-par 63 in the final round at Royal Troon in 2016 to win The Open by three shots after an enthralling final-day tussle with Phil Mickelson.

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