Gary Woodland to play alongside former British Open champ

Topeka native Gary Woodland is ranked No. 48 in the world heading into this week’s British Open at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. (Morris News Service file photograph)

SOUTHPORT, England — Topeka native Gary Woodland will play alongside 2011 British Open champion and recent Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke during the first two rounds of this week’s Open at Royal Birkdale.


Also grouped with Woodland and Clarke will be England’s Harry Ellis. The trio will tee off at 3:25 a.m. (Topeka time) Thursday and 8:26 a.m. Friday.

Clarke won the 2011 Open at Royal St. George’s by three shots, the highlight of a professional career that began in 1990. The Northern Ireland native played in five Ryder Cups before being named captain for Europe’s 2016 team.

Woodland, a Shawnee Heights and University of Kansas graduate, will play his first major since the June 24 birth of his son, Jaxson Lynn. He enters the Open ranked No. 48 in the world and N0. 29 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings.

Former Kansas State standout Robert Streb will play in a group that includes Sweden’s Alexander Bjork and Englishman Joe Dean. The threesome will start at 5:04 a.m. (Topeka time) Thursday and 10:05 a.m. Friday, meaning Streb will be one of the final players on the Birkdale course in Round 2.

Streb is ranked No. 139 in the world and 72nd in the FedEx Cup.

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