David Howell has been given the privilege of striking the first shot of the 2014 Open Championship tomorrow. By Robin Barwick

England’s David Howell has been given the privilege of striking the first shot of the 2014 Open Championship tomorrow, when he tees up in the first round at 6:25am with David Duval and Robert Karlsson.

The honour of getting the Championship underway is a dubious one for Swindon-born Howell, 39, though, as he will set his alarm clock for 4am in order to fit in an abbreviated pre-round warm-up session.

“I am thrilled to be teeing off first,” says Howell, who has not played in the Open since 2009. “Even though the tee time is so early, I don’t think you would find anyone complaining about going out first.”

Injuries have set Howell’s career back in recent years, after he had played on the winning European Ryder Cup teams of 2004 and 2006. Two wins in 2006 saw Howell reach the top-10 on the World Ranking, but then his form disappeared and he did not win again until last season’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Howell will be hoping to improve on a disappointing Open record this week. In 11 previous appearances he has missed the cut six times, with a career-best finish being a tie for 8th in 2008 at Royal Birkdale.

Perhaps the early start will trigger Howell’s Open revival.

Robin Barwick travelled to the Open Championship courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz is global sponsor of the Masters, patron of the Open Championship and official car of the PGA Championship