jordan spieth
World No 2 Jordan Spieth looks favourite to clinch the Open Championship this yearReuters

World No 1 and defending champion Rory Mcllroy's absence will indeed be hard to take, but the limelight now shifts to the other golfers as the 144th Open Championship gets under way at the St Andrew's in the United Kingdom.

And the favourite to lift the championship this year is double major winner and current World No 2 Jordan Spieth. The 21-year-old American, who has already won the Masters and the US Open this year, has warmed up in style for The Open – that is to be held at the Old Course, St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, for the 29th time - with a playoff win in the John Deere Classic on 12 July.

Speaking in the official press conference this morning ahead of the major golfing championship, Spieth said that more than looking at winning three majors in a row this year, he wants to enjoy playing on the course – as there is nothing 'more special for him than playing an Open at the St Andrews.

"I don't think there is anything more special than playing an Open here. It's a place where you don't forget anything," Spieth was quoted by PGA Tour's twitter feed.

"I'd say that here and Augusta National are probably my two favorite places in the world.

"I don't look at this as trying to win 3 in a row. I think of it as trying to win the Open at a very special place."

Spieth may be ruling the roost at the moment, but take nothing away from veteran Tiger Woods, who still persists that he has the confidence of winning the Open for the fourth time.

Woods -- winner of 14 major golf titles -- won the Open in 2000, 2005, and 2006, respectively, and the first two wins for him had come at the St Andrews.

"It's my favourite golf course in the world. I love coming back here and seeing it and remembering all the shots and remembering all the good times I've had here," the 39-year-old told BBC Sport.

"The creativity that it takes and the discipline - people don't realise how much you need to shape the ball and the discipline it takes to play this course."

Jordan Spieth's quest for a third consecutive major will begin at 9:33am BST (4:33am EST) on Thursday. The Texan will be playing alongside Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama for the first two rounds at St Andrews' Old Course. Johnson was runner-up to Spieth at last month's US Open.

Also, Tiger Woods and Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open winner) will tee off at 9:55am along with Jason Day.

Where to Watch Live

The Open Championship 2015 - first-round & second-round tee-off - starts at 6:32am BST (11:02pm IST, 1:32pm EST). 

The championship will be broadcast in India on Star Sports HD2 & on Star Sports HD4.

The UK audience can catch it live on BBC Two (9 am - 8 pm BST), BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (9 am - 10 pm BST), BBC Radio 5 live (10 pm - 7 pm BST). The live streaming option is on BBC iPlayer

US residents can watch the golfing major at ESPN (4am - 3pm EST), with the option of live streaming on Watch ESPN.

Live streaming is also available on the official website.