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Friday, 19 March 2010
Estoril Open de Portugal - Round Three  (Getty Images)
Estoril Open de Portugal - Round Three (Getty Images)

Former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst is honoured to be hitting the first shot of The 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry.

The 43 year old Englishman tees off at 6.30am on Thursday in a big-name group with 2005 US Open winner Michael Campbell and Mark Calcavecchia, the American who was Open Champion just up the coast at Troon in 1989.

Broadhurst, who had to come through International Final Qualifying at Sunningdale last month to secure his place in The 138th Open Championship, is delighted with his tee-times (he goes off at 11.41 on Friday).

"It is a bit of an honour. I didn't realise I was hitting the first shot," said Broadhurst when told of his draw position by Press Association Sport.

"It's brilliant. I'll look forward to it. I'll probably have to get up about 4am so it's early to bed.

"It will be the same routine - just earlier. I'll aim to get to the course about an hour and half before.

"They are great tee times. You always want one early time and it might work in my favour, it might not, you never know.

"We might get here on Thursday and it is flat calm for the first couple of hours; it could be breezy with the wind dropping in the afternoon.

"But if I could pick two times they would be the two so that's good."

Broadhurst may have played more than 500 European Tour events but Thursday will be the first time he has played alongside Campbell - who at 40 is the youngster of the group with Calcavecchia turning 49 last month.
 
"I've been out here 21 years and I've never played with Cambo. I've played with Mark over in the States once and in The Ryder Cup once," said the veteran of the 1991 contest at Kiawah Island.

"There is some experience in that group. I don't imagine there will be too much chit-chat - not early on any way - but later on there may be a bit of banter."

Broadhurst is the joint holder of The Open low-round record with his 63 scored at St Andrews in 1990 but admits he will have to improve off the tee if he is to avoid shooting a big number on Thursday.
 
"My driving is not brilliant. I will have a look at the course tomorrow but I may hit a few rescues off the tee instead of the driver," he added.

"I've hard we have got to keep it in play, I've heard the rough here is really thick and it's been quoted someone could shoot 100 around here so hopefully I'm not that person."

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