The Open Championship 2012: British Open Gets Underway Thursday

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 16: 2011 Open Champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland speaks with the media during the first practice round prior to the start of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes on July 16, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The 141st Open Championship will get going on Thursday from the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.

It's the time of year once again for golf's third major, the prestigious British Open. The 141st edition of the Open Championship will take place at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club starting this Thursday, with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Darren Clarke headlining the field.

As usual, the course will provide an extremely stiff test. The Open is always known for impossibly difficult course conditions, so the key even more than normal will be to stay out of the rough and sand traps. Woods has been erratic with his driver the past few years, so that is something to watch come Thursday.

Woods will be seeking his fourth Open title, and his first since 2006.

Some of the other names to watch early on are Graeme McDowell, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, despite Mickelson's notoriously poor play at the British Open in the past.

On the local side of things, Keegan Bradley will be looking for his second major championship. Bradley, a Woodstock, VT native, won the 2011 PGA Championship and is one of the dark-horse picks to make a run on the other side of the pond this week.

James Driscoll who hails from Boston, MA will simply be looking to make the cut and play from there. If he can do so, it would be the first time in his career he's done so in a major.

For more on the British Open, please be sure to check out our golf hub and SB Nation Boston for all the latest news and updates.

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