The Open 2011: Rhys Davies paired with former champion

Rhys Davies
Davies is hoping to make the halfway cut for the first time at the Open

Wales' Rhys Davies will have 1998 champion Mark O'Meara for company in the opening two rounds of The Open Championship at Royal St George's.

Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden, who finished tied sixth when the event lasted visited the Kent links in 2003, will complete the group.

Their first round will begin at 0714 BST on Thursday, with the second round to start at 1215 BST on Friday.

Simon Edwards and Mark Laskey are the only other Welshmen in the field.

Challenge Tour member Laskey will be in a group with Thomas Shadbolt and Rick Kulacz (1059 BST and 1600 BST) while Edwards, a club professional at Windermere Golf Club, will play alongside Bob Estes and Richard McEvoy (1037 BST and 1538 BST).

Edwards, who finished in last place a year ago in his Open debut, and Laskey earned their spots through local qualifying events.

Davies made the grade after finishing 18th on the European Tour money list - now known as the Race to Dubai - in 2010.

The 26-year-old has missed the cut on his two previous Open appearances, in 2009 and 2010, but he his feels better prepared for the challenge this year.

"I've also had some practice rounds there so feel like I know the course well," he said.

"I've had a few good scores there so hopefully I can play well."

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