A guide and tip for every first-round three-ball at the 2012 British Open (all times BST):
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06:19 2 Ball – Barry Lane, James Driscoll
Lane - Closed with a 66 in last week’s US Seniors Open. Not really able to compete at this level anymore.
Driscoll - Good putter but wayward off the tee and that won't help around here.
Selection: Take old-timer Lane to win the first battle of this year’s Open.
06:30 2 Ball – Richard Finch, Garth Mulroy
Finch – Up-and-down year but mainly down. Missed his last five cuts and doesn't look like changing that run here.
Mulroy - South African trying to make his way on the PGA Tour. Limited success there so far but has the ability to keep his tour card.
Selection: Go with Mulroy here as he is at least showing some signs of form.
06:41 3 Ball – Matthew Baldwin, Adilson Da Silva, Tadahiro Takayama
Baldwin - An under-rated player who is playing as well as he ever has at the moment.
Da Silva - Largely plies his trade on the South African Sunshine Tour. This is a big step up and no real reason to think he is up to it.
Takayama – Five wins on the Japan Tour and made the cut in this year’s US Open. Has some pedigree but hard to enthuse about.
Selection: Baldwin will take this easily.
06:52 3 Ball – Rafa Echenique, Kodai Ichihara, John Huh
Echenique - Nothing this year. Came through qualifying but little else to support his case.
Ichihara - Came through Asian qualifying and has acquitted himself to some decent level on the Japan Tour.
Huh - One of the success stories of the year in the US. A top player for years to come.
Selection: The other two are well below Huh's class and that will show.
07:03 3 Ball – Sandy Lyle, Todd Hamilton, Mark Calcavecchia
Lyle - Sandy is still capable of the odd really good round but they are becoming less frequent.
Hamilton - This former Open champ will probably perk up when faced with this challenge.
Calcavecchia - Another who will relish this opportunity. Not a bad year so far on the Champions Tour.
Selection: This is set up beautifully for Calcavecchia to roll back the years.
07:14 3 Ball – Alejandro Canizares, Jeev Milka Singh, Greg Chalmers
Canizares - He has a lot of ability and is in pretty decent nick. But a birdie course is probably better suited to his game.
Singh - No idea how he did it but he is coming off the back of a great win last week. He will not be backing that up here.
Chalmers - Five top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour this season but not suited by tight courses so expect him to struggle here.
Selection: Canizares a tentative choice.
07:25 3 Ball – John Daly, Chad Campbell, Michael Hoey
Daly - Big John still plays as well as ever. Has great touch and this will be put to the test this week.
Campbell - He should do better for someone of his ability. Could go well.
Hoey - Has flattered to deceive recently. Has a links game but too many errors in there at the moment.
Selection: Daly just favoured to out-perform his rivals.
07:36 3 Ball – Thongchai Jaidee, Justin Leonard, Simon Khan
Jaidee - One of the form players on the European Tour. But this is his fifth week on the spin. A week too far probably.
Leonard - This former Open champion has completely lost his game. Discard.
Khan - He is having a poor year – do not expect that to change here.
Selection: Even a tired Jaidee is too good for his playing partners.
07:47 3 Ball – David Duval, Raphael Jacquelin, Miguel Angel Jimenez
Duval - The last winner at Royal Lytham but in no form. Would be very popular if getting some spark back.
Jacquelin - 21st at the US Open last month and has continued that decent form. Good ball striker.
Jimenez - It is too early to write him off but he is in a poor run of form at best.
Selection: Take a wild punt at a decent price on Duval.
07:58 3 Ball – Stephen Ames, Robert Rock, Kyle Stanley
Ames - Not the player he was and hard to see him taking to Blackpool.
Rock - Since the huge win in Abu Dhabi he has been a little off. Might have seen the best of him this season.
Stanley - Superb early season and then had a big dip. Starting to rediscover his form recently and could go very well this week.
Selection: Really like Stanley in this match-up.
08:09 3 Ball – Stewart Cink, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Johnson Wagner
Cink - The most unpopular Open champion in recent history. Has shown the odd glimpse of form but not a lot.
Cabrera-Bello - If he can keep it straight he could even challenge for the title. A real talent.
Wagner - This Texan may well enjoy it if it gets windy.
Selection: Go with Cabrera-Bello to take care of his PGA Tour partners.
08:20 3 Ball – Jamie Donaldson, Bill Haas, Y E Yang
Donaldson - Has had his week in the sun with his win at the Irish Open.
Haas - Could surprise a few people this week. One to watch.
Yang - Not his best year so far and cannot be backed until evidence of a turnaround.
Selection: Go with Haas.
08:31 3 Ball – Davis Love III, Tim Clark, Paul Lawrie
Love - US Ryder Cup captain is playing his best stuff for some time.
Clark – Not quite back to his best but there are certainly positive signs.
Lawrie – A lot of people like Lawrie's chances this week, but has peaked too soon and won't feature.
Selection: Try Clark as he could be a real dark horse this week.
08:42 3 Ball – Adam Scott, Alan Dunbar, Matt Kuchar
Scott - Playing well when he tees it up. Good player from the rough and that will be very useful.
Dunbar - This young amateur can clearly play links golf so will love this challenge.
Kuchar - The Players’ Champion and a real machine. Could be a threat for the title this week.
Selection: All three have chances but edge just given to Scott.
08:58 3 Ball - Vijay Singh, Nick Watney, Ian Poulter
Singh - Solid stuff from Vijay at the moment littered with the odd bit of magic.
Watney - Super consistent and one to consider. But worried about his pretty wayward driving.
Poulter - He tends to raise his game for the big ones and maybe not as much attention on him this year as in the past.
Selection: A good feeling about Poulter in this one.
09:09 3 Ball – Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Zach Johnson
Clarke - Defending the title is a lot of pressure. Has been in poor form but recent signs are good. He will put up a stout defence.
Els - Has more Majors in him now he has re-dedicated himself. If he keeps it straight off the tee he has to be one of the favourites.
Johnson - Emotional win last week may have taken the stuffing out of him for this massive test.
Selection: Els is the man for this contest.
09:20 3 Ball - Lee Westwood, Yoshinori Fujimoto, Bubba Watson
Westwood - No course is safe when Lee is on his game. Could this finally be his year?
Fujimoto - Turned pro just this year but at just 5ft 5ins he had better hope it doesn't blow too hard this week.
Watson - Enigmatic Watson could add to his Major haul right here. Leads the greens in regulation stat on the PGA Tour.
Selection: Tough call but Westwood just favoured.
09:31 3 Ball - Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Hiroyuki Fujita
Johnson - Won a few weeks ago and should have been Open champion last year. Could put that right this time around.
McDowell - Always a danger at the big ones. Will be disappointed he didn't add another US Open last month.
Fujita - 13 Japan Tour wins but not nearly as proficient when venturing onto other tours.
Selection: This one has Johnson written all over it.
09:42 3 Ball – Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia
Woods - Three wins already this season but aside from that has great stats. Ready for another Major.
Rose - A great ball-striker and won't be fazed by playing with Tiger. About time he contended for a big one.
Garcia - Just a fraction off top form. If he finds that bit extra he will be a danger to all. Needs a big second half of the season.
Selection: Take Tiger to get off to a flyer.
09:53 3 Ball – Ryo Ishikawa, Martin Kaymer, Tom Watson
Ishikawa - Will come good eventually and win many events, just won’t start here.
Kaymer - Too many elements of his game are off at the moment. Not on short-list for the title.
Watson - Loves any Open and showed last week he can still play. Everyone wants to see him go well again this year.
Selection: Watson is good value to take care of his young rivals.
10:04 3 Ball – Charl Schwartzel, Aaron Baddeley, Thomas Bjorn
Schwartzel - Hasn't played since the US Open due to a nagging chest muscle injury. Not good preparation for a Major.
Baddeley - Far too wayward for this course. A brilliant putter though.
Bjorn - Has been in good form this season and is a terrific outside punt for the championship.
Selection: Bjorn to take this comfortably.
10:15 3 Ball – Jason Dufner, Martin Laird, Kevin Na
Dufner - Not been seen out since the US Open. Was in unbelievable form before that. Can't guarantee that will continue here though.
Laird - Played surprisingly well last week but the Scot is better suited to target golf.
Na - Didn't get the prep he was looking for last week but this consistent player may find this course suits him better.
Selection: A real tricky one to call but just go for controversial Na.
10:26 3 Ball – James Morrison, Daniel Chopra, Joost Luiten
Morrison - His game is littered with good rounds but just cannot string a few together.
Chopra - Came through qualifying in the US but this has not been a good season for the Swede.
Luiten – Good Dutch youngster, can see a big performance ahead.
Selection: Take a punt on Morrison to post a decent score.
10:37 3 Ball – Thorbjorn Olesen, Troy Matteson, Thomas Aiken
Olesen - Has to be one of the finds of the European Tour season. There will be many victories ahead for this guy.
Matteson - So close in the John Deere last week. Will be delighted to be here but not sure he will make the cut.
Aiken - Pretty reasonable form recently and well suited to this type of test. Could be a dark horse.
Selection: Aiken is a good bet here.
10:48 3 Ball – Brad Kennedy, Mardan Mamat, Steven Tiley
Kennedy - Won on the Japan Tour this season and playing some reasonable stuff the last couple of years.
Mamat - Has had a win on the Asian Tour this season but not one of its leading lights.
Tiley - Never quite reached even the second grade of professional golf. Cannot see much happening this week.
Selection: Kennedy has the pedigree to beat his playing partners.
10:59 3 Ball – Warren Bennett, Aaron Townsend, Grant Veenstra
Bennett - A reasonable player back in the 90s. A shock comeback would get some headlines.
Townsend - Came through Australasian qualifying in gale-force winds and rain. Very handy preparation.
Veenstra - Not a lot to recommend this South African. Don't expect to see his name near the top of the leaderboard.
Selection: Townsend to take this.
11:10 3 Ball – Dale Whitnell, Sam Walker, Elliot Saltman
Whitnell - Still making his way in the game and does have a future ahead on the European Tour.
Walker - Won an event on the Challenge Tour last month but not sure that is quite the class he faces here.
Saltman - Squeezed through a play-off to get to the championship but that is where his success ends.
Selection: Try former classy amateur Whitnell to show his skills.
11:31 3 Ball – Bob Estes, Steven O’Hara, Brendan Jones
Estes - At the age of 46 is still competing pretty well on the PGA Tour. This isn't for him though.
O'Hara - Shown nothing this season to suggest this could be his week.
Jones - Has had great success in Japan and a pretty competent player.
Selection: Jones to adapt best to this test.
11:42 3 Ball – Juvic Pagunsan, Scott Pinckney, Nick Cullen
Pagunsan - Has a few victories to his name on the Asian Tour but he is out of his depth here.
Pinckney - American playing on the European Challenge Tour - and with limited success.
Cullen - Aussie who is way out of his league here.
Selection: Pagunsan as he at least has some decent experience.
11:53 3 Ball – Stephen Alker, Lee Slattery, Russ Cochran
Alker - The Kiwi has tried his hand all over the world but is just a shade below the top pro levels.
Slattery - Not much recently but has the ability to go well at this kind of venue. One to watch.
Cochran - Solid enough US Senior Tour player who can play links well.
Selection: Slattery favoured in this match-up.
12:04 3 Ball – Tom Lehman, Pablo Larrazabal, Greg Owen
Lehman - Still hits the ball well. Loves it here and arrives in tip-top form.
Larrazabal - A talent for sure, but the Open at Royal Lytham is not the place he will perform.
Owen - Tremendously consistent player on the PGA Tour. Under-rated and definitely a lively outsider for the event.
Selection: Lehman's experience will tell here.
12:15 3 Ball – Marcel Siem, George Coetzee, Chez Reavie
Siem - Not many Europeans have played consistently better this season. His win a couple of weeks ago is as good as it will get though.
Coetzee - Hits the ball cleanly but seriously needs to sort out his weekend play before he can be taken seriously.
Reavie - Not much to get excited about but is pretty straight off the tee so that may well keep him in the game.
Selection: Coetzee plays well enough early in tournaments to be the pick for this contest.
12:26 3 Ball – Marcus Fraser, Lucas Glover, Gregory Havret
Fraser - Always been impressed with Fraser on tough tracks. Not to be under-estimated.
Glover - Former US Open champ is not making any waves in 2012.
Havret - Another who has a penchant for tough courses. Finds it hard to win though.
Selection: Fraser is a very good bet here.
12:37 3 Ball – Charles Howell III, Paul Broadhurst, Richard Sterne
Howell III - Charles has not progressed as was expected. Needs to sort his short game out big style.
Broadhurst - It's good to see Broadhurst back but this is a big ask.
Sterne - Hitting the ball well but will need to straighten up off the tee.
Selection: Sterne has the best credentials in this affair.
12:48 3 Ball – Carl Pettersson, K T Kim, Gary Woodland
Pettersson - Has made himself into a very good PGA Tour player. Just isn't suited to golf in Europe.
Kim – Impressive guy. Has some game and could have a decent future over the next few years.
Woodland - Awful short game will cost him here. Will be going home on Friday night.
Selection: Take a punt on Kim.
12:59 3 Ball – Ben Curtis, Paul Casey, Trevor Immelman
Curtis - A bit of a resurgence this season for the former Open champ and do not discount this excellent putter.
Casey - Can barely assess his chances. Let's just say they are non-existent.
Immelman - Not sure Trevor really has his game right at the moment.
Selection: This one is simple for Curtis.
13:10 3 Ball – Robert Karlsson, Mark Wilson, Branden Grace
Karlsson – Unimpressive swing and it will be all over the place if the wind blows.
Wilson - Showed his usual early-season form. Off the boil since but is very accurate off the tee.
Grace - The star of the early part of the European Tour. A fraction off that since but has a lot of ability.
Selection: Go with Wilson here to surprise his playing partners.
13:21 3 Ball – Harris English, Simon Dyson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
English - PGA Tour rookie who is proving to be a big hit. This is something else entirely though.
Dyson - Threatening to really light it up. Can he get that putter charged up?
Fernandez-Castano - Has a better chance than at most events as his shoddy putting is not under as much pressure at a links course.
Selection: Nice three-ball which Dyson is just favoured to nick.
13:32 3 Ball – Angel Cabrera, K J Choi, Ross Fisher
Cabrera - Form is irrelevant for the big fella. You just don't know what he is going to do. But rest assured this will be a week when he is trying.
Choi - The odd flicker of form and he most certainly has the tools to go well at Royal Lytham.
Fisher - Back to form but hard to see him winning.
Selection: Choi is a top choice on his way to better things.
13:43 3 Ball – Jonathan Byrd, Sang-Moon Bae, Alvaro Quiros
Byrd - A danger to all when he is on. Consistent and could do OK if he gets off to a decent start.
Bae - This young Korean has a lot of promise but might not enjoy where his erratic driving takes him.
Quiros - Has gone flat at just the wrong time. Trouble is that if he starts slowly then his head goes.
Selection: Byrd is by far the safest bet here.
13:59 3 Ball – Nicolas Colsaerts, Hunter Mahan, John Senden
Colsaerts - Has come of age this season and has the game to win a Major.
Mahan - His stats tell you exactly why this guy wins so often. He does everything very well.
Senden - Great ball-striker who struggles to win. Will be a little upset at his last few holes last week.
Selection: A trio of brilliant ball-strikers but Colsaerts just favoured in the conditions.
14:10 3 Ball – Bo Van Pelt, Francesco Molinari, Toshinori Muto
Van Pelt - Has a powerful game that could be useful on this course. Should have beaten Tiger a few weeks back but will still take plenty of confidence.
Molinari - Nobody hits it better off the tee. Can't see how he won't be right up there.
Muto - Not a leading light on the Japan Tour but has landed himself in a fancy three-ball.
Selection: Take Molinari to continue his excellent form.
14:21 3 Ball – Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Keegan Bradley
McIlroy - His season hasn't been as disastrous as some are making out but there is some concern over his performances in the big tournaments.
Oosthuizen - Knows how to win an Open and so close at this year’s Masters. One to be on this week.
Bradley - Not the prep he was looking for at the Irish Open but respected for his determination to succeed.
Selection: Oosthuizen is the tip for this.
14:32 3 Ball – Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington, Manuel Trappel
Fowler - Finally has a win under his belt and has one of the best long games on the PGA Tour.
Harrington - You just get the feeling this perfectionist has been preparing meticulously for this week. Has a big chance.
Trappel - Top European amateur who will love this experience.
Selection: It's a close call between the main protagonists - but Harrington just favoured.
14:43 3 Ball – Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy
Donald - Would love to see the world number one enjoy it at Royal Lytham but he may not.
Mickelson - Suddenly kicked into gear in the second round of the Scottish Open. Game is back but this is a different test.
Ogilvy - Solid season but no better. Missing a spark. Can get hot with the putter, mind.
Selection: Take a tentative move towards Mickelson.
14:54 3 Ball – Steve Stricker, Toru Taniguchi, Anders Hansen
Stricker - His valiant attempt for four in a row at the John Deere is not good prep for a big week mentally.
Taniguchi - One of the top Japanese players and don't discount him too easily.
Hansen - Has been in terrific form. Don't even consider him in the final round but early in tournaments he is dangerous.
Selection: Hansen has this all set up for him.
15:05 3 Ball – Peter Hanson, Retief Goosen, Robert Allenby
Hanson - Has the long game for an Open test and could contend if he gets off to a good start.
Goosen - A couple of cracking rounds in France recently show he has still got the goods.
Allenby - Still consistent but just at a lower level now.
Selection: Go with the Goose to get off to a flyer.
15:16 3 Ball – Jim Furyk, Koumei Oda, Fredrik Jacobson
Furyk - A late start for Furyk. Assuming he has got over his US Open failure he could be a feature.
Oda - Reasonable Japan Tour player - no more no less.
Jacobson - Freddie is not everyone’s cup of tea but is always good to have on your side. Terrific putter on his day.
Selection: Jacobson will sneak this.
15:27 3 Ball – Marc Leishman, Brandt Snedeker, Alexander Noren
Leishman - A final round 62 a few weeks ago secured an extremely unlikely PGA Tour victory. Good ball-striker may now progress further.
Snedeker - Hits the ball really cleanly but not sure about his prowess around a course like this.
Noren - Doing everything but winning. Such a good powerful player to watch but has he blown himself out?
Selection: Take a chance on Leishman.
15:38 3 Ball – Andres Romero, Jbe Kruger, Richie Ramsay
Romero - Disappointed with Romero last week and not to be trusted until showing signs he is back.
Kruger - Gets the most out of his game. Usually a good starter of tournaments.
Ramsay - Likes the course and is usually very accurate. Could be a surprise package.
Selection: Ramsay gets the nod in the belief he will keep it on the short stuff.
15:49 3 Ball – Ted Potter Jnr, Ian Keenan, Andrew Georgiou
Potter Jnr - Won a couple of weeks ago but that is as good as it gets for Ted.
Keenan – Good attitude. If he sticks to his game plan he could do all right.
Georgiou - South African who impressed in qualifying but remains to be seen how he does in this environment.
Selection: Keenan to surprise.
16:00 3 Ball - Troy Kelly, Morten Madsen, Anirban Lahiri
Kelly - Very close a couple of weeks ago and probably has better game to suit here than the victor.
Madsen – Up-and-coming star. A lot of eyes will be on this young Dane to see how he performs.
Lahiri - Decent enough player in Asia and may just go better than you might at first think.
Selection: Really tricky call but Kelly just favoured.
16:11 3 Ball – Prayad Marksaeng, Justin Hicks, Ashley Hall
Marksaeng - He has been around a while and has seen enough not to be too intimidated by this test.
Hicks - Has shown flashes of form throughout his career but has plenty to prove.
Hall - Came through a tough qualifying test to be here. Will be trying hard to make it worthwhile.
Selection: Marksaeng will take this easily.