Tiger to play with Ishikawa, Westwood

Updated: July 13, 2009, 4:26 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- A Tiger Woods grouping is always a crazy scene at a major championship, but it promises to be even more so at Turnberry when the British Open begins on Thursday.

Westwood
Westwood
Ishikawa
Ishikawa
Woods
Woods

Organizers of the championship have put Japan's teenage sensation Ryo Ishikawa in the same group for the first two rounds of the tournament.

And if that's not enough, one of Britain's best players, Lee Westwood, rounds out the threesome.

They will tee off at 9:09 a.m. local time (4:09 a.m. ET) on Thursday and 2:20 p.m. (9:20 a.m. ET) on Friday.

Woods, 33, has won three British Opens and will be gunning for his 15th major title.

Ishikawa, 17, became the youngest winner on the Japan Tour when he captured the Munsingwear Open at age 15 two years ago.

Last month he won the Mizuno Open to qualify for the Open Championship.

Ishikawa is a huge story in Japan and is typically followed by dozens if not hundreds of Japanese media.

He was invited to this year's Masters, becoming the second-youngest player to compete in the tournament. He has also received an invitation to next month's PGA Championship.

Two-time defending champion Padraig Harrington is on the opposite side of the draw, getting a 2:20 starting time on Thursday along with Jim Furyk and Geoff Ogilvy. They will play at 9:09 on Friday.

The tee times begin at 6:30 a.m. with England's Paul Broadhurst, New Zealand's Michael Campbell and Mark Calcavecchia.

The last tee time is at 4:21 p.m. with Australia's Terry Pilkadaris, England's Steve Surry and Japan's Koumei Oda.

Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com