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British Open underway with all eyes on Tiger

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(AP Photo/Peter Morrison). John Senden of Australia plays out of the bunker onto the 6th green during a practice round ahead of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Wednesday July 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison). John Senden of Australia plays out of the bunker onto the 6th green during a practice round ahead of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Wednesday July 16, 2014.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Bubba Watson of the US putts on the 16th green during a practice round ahead of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Wednesday July 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Bubba Watson of the US putts on the 16th green during a practice round ahead of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Wednesday July 16, 2014.
By DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

HOYLAKE, England (AP) - David Howell hit the first shot of the 143rd British Open on Thursday. He also was the first to hit in the rough, and the first to make a bogey.

But all eyes were soon to turn to Tiger Woods.

Woods won at Royal Liverpool in 2006 when it was brown and crusty from a dry summer. He is playing his first major of the year because of back surgery, on a links course that is playing longer because of a wet spring that produced more lush conditions.

Thursday and Friday are two of the longest days in golf at The Open. Howell, former champion David Duval and Robert Karlsson teed off at 6:25 a.m. in mild, sunny conditions. The last group plays at 4:06 p.m.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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