But the laid-back Australian No.1 admitted both players will probably still be driven "internally" to come out on top after the November 2019 rules controversy in which Smith all but accused the former Masters champion Reed of cheating.

"We'll be fine," smiled the easy-going Smith when asked by AAP how he felt to be paired with Reed for the first time in an individual event since the Aussie's withering verbal attack on his rival after the American's rules violation at an event in the Bahamas.

Smith, who'd been competing at the Australian Open at the time, was unimpressed by Reed's explanation after he'd been docked two shots during his third round for improving his lie by moving sand behind his ball during two practice swings.

Reed had told reporters he believed a different camera angle might have exonerated him.

But that only left Smith to tell AAP at the time: "If you make a mistake maybe once, you could maybe understand but to give a bit of a bullshit response like the camera angle ... that's pretty up there."

With the Presidents Cup being staged soon after, Smith added pointedly: "I don't have any sympathy for anyone that cheats. I hope the crowd absolutely gives it to not only him, but everyone (on the American team) next week."

The bad blood between the pair seemed to spill over at the Presidents Cup itself where Reed appeared to make a beeline for Smith and the pair bumped shoulders during the round.

Yet as he prepared to duel with Reed over the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, Smith said there had been a rapprochement of sorts between the pair.

"It might still be there internally in both of us (the desire to come out on top) but externally it'll be fine."  Cameron Smith

Asked if they'd talked together about the incidents since, Smith say: "Not really, to be honest, but we've said 'hello' here and there, and we had a little conversation after it all happened the next year (in 2020).

"So definitely on better terms now.

"It might still be there internally in both of us (the desire to come out on top) but externally it'll be fine."

The filling in this particular Sandwich sandwich will be Rory McIlroy, the third man in the group who himself has also enjoyed a feisty rivalry with Reed at the Ryder Cup.

It's a group sure to gain a massive following with the Open readmitting a 32,000-strong crowd for its comeback year following the cancelled 2020 edition.

Adam Scott has also been handed an exciting-looking start in another marquee late-afternoon group, alongside English hope Tommy Fleetwood and America's former World No.1 Justin Thomas.

Min Woo Lee, the latest Australian to taste success on the European Tour with his Scottish Open win last weekend, will also have the honour of being the first of the country's 11 participants to tee off in the opening round at 7.30am (4:30pm AEST).

Jason Day, hoping his season has been given new momentum after a recent top-10 finish in the Travelers Championship, has a lunchtime slot at 12.20pm (9:20pm AEST) alongside Dutchman Joost Luiten and American Johannes Veerman.

Marc Leishman, the Victorian and No.2-ranked Australian who's hoping to go one better than he did at St Andrews six years ago when losing in a three-man playoff, also has a former Open winner for company in Italian Francesco Molinari.

Pick of the marquee groups will see champion Shane Lowry's long wait to get the defence of his Open title underway alongside golf's newest major winner, US Open champ Jon Rahm, and former champion Louis Oosthuizen.

- Ian Chadband, Australian Associated Press