The Open Championship is the oldest and one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world.
First played in 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, the historic championship will return to its birthplace of Scotland and to the oldest golf course in the world for the 150th edition at the Home of Golf – St Andrews.
Winning the Open Championship at St Andrews is the pinnacle of his golfing career and this year players will compete to join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo and Bobby Jones who have all made the promenade over the iconic Swilcan Bridge and hoisted the Claret Jug to where it all began.
While another important moment in golf history will be written on Sunday night, not everyone has made it this far. Here we take a look at some of the biggest names that won’t feature in the 150th Open Championship.
1. Jason Day
The Australian shot to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings in September 2015 with three dominating wins in just over a calendar month. Those victories were significant – the PGA Championship, his first major title and two FedEx Cup playoff triumphs at the Barclays and BMW Championships.
The 34-year-old backed that up with three wins in 2016; including the PGA Tour’s flagship event, The Players Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
His best result in The Open Championship this year came in 2015 when he finished T4 – a move outside of the playoffs won by Zach Johnson. Day has struggled to compete at the highest level since 2019 due to injury and finds himself outside the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
2. Branden Grace
Branden Grace made Open Championship history in 2017 at Royal Birkdale when he became the first male player to shoot 62 (8 under par) in a major championship. The T6 was also his best result at the Open.
The 34-year-old ranked in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings for the better part of a decade and peaked in 2015 when he reached a career-best 10th after two wins and a string of results among the top 10 – including the US Open.
A dip in form that began in 2019 has ensued and the South African now finds himself outside of a qualifying spot and 132nd in the standings. Grace has since made the controversial move to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, where he won their second event in Portland.
3. Ricky Fowler
The American failed to qualify for the US Open earlier in the year and it is increasingly likely that he will miss the Open Championship.
Fowler is on the court at the Genesis Scottish Open where three places are available for the top three who are not already exempt, provided they also finish in the top 10.
The 33-year-old has made 11 consecutive Open Championship starts, with three top 10 finishes. If he misses, Fowler will have missed five of the last eight major championships.
The Olympian has picked up five PGA Tour victories, including the Players Championship, in his impressive career to date, but has been winless since the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open and has missed six cups in 13 appearances on the PGA Tour this year; a run of form that left him languishing at 150th in the Official World Golf Rankings – his worst since 2010.
Schwartzel’s career is best defined by his victory at the 2011 Masters, when he birdied the last four holes to finish two strokes ahead of Adam Scott and Jason Day. No less than eight players shared the lead in this final round, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The win also marked 50 years since fellow South African Gary Player became the first international winner at Augusta National.
The 37-year-old rose to sixth in the Official World Golf Rankings the year after his Masters success, but has since slipped to 126th after a series of performances that have not quite come to an end. reached the same heights.
Like his South African counterpart, Branden Grace, Schwartzel joined the LIV Golf Series – where he won the inaugural event at the Centurion Club.
5. Matthew Wolff
By winning the 2019 3M Open, Wolff became the first player since Billy Hurley III in 2016 to win after receiving a sponsor exemption and only the third player to win an NCAA title and a PGA Tour event in the same year. civil, joining Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw.
On his major league debut at the 2020 PGA Championship, Wolff posted a T4 finish and just six weeks later he finished second at the US Open, notching back-to-back top-five finishes in his first two appearances. in a major league.
The American reached a 12th place in the Official World Golf Ranking, his best career high, but has struggled lately. Wolff is yet to play in the Open Championship after stepping down last year to focus on his mental health.
6. Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson has amassed twelve PGA Tour victories since turning pro in 2002; including two world golf championships.
The 43-year-old’s career is perhaps best defined by his two major championship wins, both at the Masters in 2012 and 2014. His second win at Augusta National lifted him to a better second place in the standings Official Golf World.
The American is unable to compete in the Open Championship this year as he continues his recovery from surgery for a torn meniscus.
7. Matt Kuchar
The American has made 15 consecutive Open Championship appearances, highlighted by a runner-up finish in 2017 where he and Jordan Spieth faced off at Royal Birkdale for the Claret Jug.
Kuchar has consistently fought in major championships with 12 top-10 finishes without crossing the line. The defining moment of his career came at the 2012 Players Championship when he won the PGA Tour’s showpiece event.
The 44-year-old sat out the US Open last month and posted a T34 at the PGA Championship earlier in the year. He failed to make a cut in any of the four Majors in 2021.