Wallace will partner 15-time major winner Woods and former Masters champion Patrick Reed in front of sell-out crowds for the opening two days at Royal Portrush as The Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years.

"I got a text about the draw a bit before it came out and I was just searching through and saw my name and thought it was a bit of a spoof," the 29-year-old Londoner said.

"I actually thought it was a wind-up because of the time it was (3.10pm on Thursday) and thought Tiger would be playing at that time.

"It's a proud moment to play with him in an Open. Hopefully I can stick to my game plan and produce in front of him. Massively this is a dream come true. He is my hero and I am playing with him in an Open.

"It caps everything, it is probably the biggest moment in my career to date, a reward for all the hard work I have done. Hopefully it can kick me on for the rest of my career.”

Wallace finished third at the US PGA Championship in May. PHOTO: Patrick Smith/Getty Images.

Wallace missed the cut at Carnoustie last year but finished 19th in the US PGA Championship the following month at Bellerive – where he made a hole-in-one while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the third round – and was third behind Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson in the same event in May.

The four-time European Tour winner also played alongside Koepka on his way to a tie for 12th in the US Open at Pebble Beach and believes he is capable of adding a major title to his increasingly impressive CV.

"It's difficult myself to believe it when my best performance at the start of the year was 19th in a major, but now finishing third and 12th, and playing with Brooks at Pebble I was really happy with my attitude there.

"It was the proudest I've ever been on a golf course because I was three over after nine holes and managed to eagle the last to shoot level par with the World No.1 and four-time major champion."

- Phil Casey, PAA