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These Golfers Won't Be Playing in The Open at Royal Troon

By: | Mon 08 Jul 2024

A field of more than 156 will be teeing it up at The Open Championship at Royal Troon. It will include the world’s leading golfers, former champions, many of the best amateurs on the planet, and a number who have got to Scotland through various qualification methods - winning designated events and gridding their way through 36 holes of Final Qualifying.

But while the limelight falls on the likes of Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy, there are several surprise omissions. Here are just a few of the men who will be watching the action on TV, just like the rest of us.

Matt Kuchar

The American would have won the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale but for the unlikely heroics of a certain Jordan Spieth but, now in the autumn of his career, he has tumbled down the world rankings and simply hasn’t done enough.

Branden Grace

The South African LIV golfer failed to come through Final Qualifying and will be kicking himself that he has not made it to Troon. Grace loves links golf, having shot a 62 at Royal Birkdale in 2017 and enjoying considerable success at St Andrews.

Talor Gooch

Gooch was the leading LIV money-winner in 2023 and has had plenty to say about not being able to play in the majors. He is ranked outside the top 700 in the world rankings. That is clearly ridiculous but Gooch doesn’t help himself - while many of his fellow LIV golfers have tried to qualify for the US Open and The Open, he has refused to do so.

Martin Kaymer

The 2014 US Open champion took his place in the field in Pinehurst last month but opted not to tee it up at any of the Final Qualifying events. Kaymer made the cut, eventually finishing T64 in North Carolina, and is currently languishing in 38th position in the LIV standings. He has played in The Open 12 times.

Patrick Reed

The 2018 Masters champion managed a top-10 finish at The Open in 2019 before joining the breakaway LIV tour. He did not enter Final Qualifying for the US Open because his schedule meant this was well-nigh impossible. He should be given credit for trying to get to Troon by playing in the Italian Open and BMW International Open, through which he is eligible as a lifetime honorary member of the European Tour. Before the US Open at Pinehurst, Reed had lined up in 41 consecutive majors, dating back to the 2014 Masters. He has played in The Open on nine occasions.

Sergio Garcia 

Sergio Garcia

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

The Spaniard has made 25 appearances in The Open, coming close to winning several times. And he was desperate to make it to Troon. To his eternal credit, he went to West Lancs for Final Qualifying but came up two shots shy. He was later critical of the course marshals for what he saw as their inability to control the large crowds who came out to watch him. The 2017 Masters champion had come through Final Qualifying for this year’s US Open at Pinehurst where he finished T12.

Lee Westwood

Another Open veteran, Westwood has made 27 starts in the world’s oldest major. He had several close calls, most notably at Turnberry in 2009. With his best days behind him, he opted not to go down the qualification pathway for Troon. 

Ian Poulter

Another European Ryder Cup legend who will not be adding to his 20 Open starts. He finished second in 2008 and third in 2013. But, for the second year running, he also decided not to go to Final Qualifying.

Graeme McDowell 

McDowell’s victory at the 2010 US Open must seem like a lifetime ago for the Northern Irishman. The four-time PGA Tour winner teed it up in Final Qualifying at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent but fell well short in his bid to make a 15th Open Championship field. He last played a major in 2020.

Thomas Pieters

The Belgian six-time European Tour winner has now dropped outside the top 300 in the world rankings after signing for LIV and has not competed in a major this year. He is still a hugely gifted player and it was a big surprise that he decided not to go to Final Qualifying.

Aaron Rai

Came within a whisker of winning for the first time on the PGA Tour recently - had he done so then he would have leapt into the top 50 in the world rankings, secured a two-year exemption on the tour and booked his place for Troon. He can count himself incredibly unlucky not to be in the field.

Alex Noren

The Swede is to be given a great deal of credit for continuing to battle away on the PGA Tour. He was a big fish and a multiple winner on the DP World Tour but hasn’t done enough in 2024 to get into the top 50 in the world rankings.

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Tags: The Open Championship The Open Royal Troon

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