McIlroy, Spieth and Fowler among the Open headline three-balls

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Royal Birkdale takes centre stage as of tomorrow, with day one of the 2017 Open Championship on the horizon.

It’s poised to be a thrillingly wide-open affair, while the weather may have a say in how things play out too.

But for now we’re focusing on Thursday’s action, and the three-balls which are catching our eye…

09:47 – Henrik Stenson / Si-woo Kim / Jordan Spieth

It all gets underway at 06:35, but you’ll have to wait three hours for the first heavyweight trio to tee-off.

Reigning champion Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth will open alongside South Korean sensation Si-woo Kim.

10:09 – Brooks Koepka / Hideki Mastuyama / Tommy Fleetwood

There will be a surge of fans surrounding this threesome, and it’ll all be for home hero Tommy Fleetwood.

The Southport hitter has been in sensational form this season, and could well feature strongly this weekend.

He’s got great support to open alongside, with US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama both potential winners too.

13:04 – Zach Johnson / Jason Day / Sergio Garcia

The first three-ball to feature a trio of Major winners, though it’s somewhat surprising that Zach Johnson has two victories to Jason Day and Sergio Garcia’s one.

Barring a T4 in 2015, Day’s Open record is somewhat patchy, as is his 2017 form. So if any big movers come from here it will be either 2015 champion Johnson, or the man who so often goes well on these shores, Garcia.

13:26 – Rickie Fowler / Adam Scott / Paul Casey

Plenty reckon this could be Rickie Fowler’s weekend, while Adam Scott and Paul Casey boast plenty of Open pedigree too.

The latter duo both went well when Birkdale last hosted in 2008, and all three are enjoying very good seasons this year.

14:48 Rory McIlroy / Dustin Johnson / Charl Schwartzel

A handy way to keep the crowds and television audiences glued to Birkdale is to keep two of your biggest stars in reserve until late in the afternoon.

Rory is enduring a pretty difficult year, but that won’t stop the crowds – and punters – from backing him this weekend.

Johnson isn’t in mega shape either after successive missed cuts at the Memorial and US Open, so it could be Schwartzel who edges this Major-winning trio.

Click here for the latest Open Championship odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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