HOYLAKE, England (AP) — British Open play begins Thursday at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England. Phil Mickelson is the defending champ, but hasn't won since capturing the claret jug for the first time last year. He'll be paired up with Masters champ Bubba Watson and Ernie Els and tee off in the afternoon Thursday.

Mickelson says despite the fact he doesn't have a win this season he feels good about his game and wants badly to win another Open championship.

Tiger Woods is making his return to major championship play after missing the Masters and U.S. Open due to back surgery. He has a morning tee time for round one and will be in a group with Angel Cabrera and Henrik Stenson.