The Open Championship is the oldest and one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world.
Having first been contested in 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, the historic championship will return to its birthplace of Scotland and 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 golf career and this year players will battle it out to join the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo and Bobby Jones who have made the hike over the iconic Swilcan Bridge and raised the Claret Pitcher at the place where it all began.
While another significant moment in golf history will be written on Sunday night, not all of them have come this far. Here we take a look at some of the biggest names that will not appear at the 150th Open Championship.
1. Jason’s Day
The Australian climbed to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking in September 2015 with three commanding wins in just over a calendar month. Those victories were significant: the PGA Championship, his first major title and two FedEx Cup playoff wins at The Barclays and BMW Championship.
The 34-year-old backed it up with three wins in 2016; including the PGA Tour’s flagship event, the Players Championship and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
His best Open Championship finish came at this year’s venue in 2015 when he finished T4, a shot off the tie-break won by Zach Johnson. Day has struggled to compete at the highest level since 2019 as a result of injury and sits outside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
2. Grace Branden
Branden Grace made Open Championship history in 2017 at Royal Birkdale when he became the first male player to shoot 8-under 62 in a Major championship. T6 was also his best result in the Open.
The 34-year-old has been ranked in the top 100 of the official world golf rankings for the better part of a decade and reached his peak in 2015 when he reached a career-best 10th following two wins and a string of results between the top 10, which includes the US Open.
There was a drop in form that first started in 2019 and the South African now finds himself out of a qualifying spot and down to 132nd in the rankings. Grace has since controversially moved to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, where he won his second event in Portland.
The American failed to qualify for the US Open earlier in the year and the likelihood of him missing out on the Open Championship continues to mount.
Fowler is on the field at the Genesis Scottish Open, where three places are available for the top three finishers who are not yet exempt, provided they also finish in the top 10.
The 33-year-old has made 11 consecutive starts at the Open Championship, with three top-10 finishes. If he misses it, Fowler will have missed five of the last eight major championships.
The Olympian has posted five PGA Tour wins, including the Players Championship, in his impressive career to date, but hasn’t won since the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open and has missed six cuts in 13 PGA Tour appearances this year. year; a run of form that has left him languishing at 150th in the Official World Golf Ranking, the worst since 2010.
4. Charl Schwartzel
Schwartzel’s career is best defined by his 2011 Masters victory, when he birdied the last four holes to finish two shots ahead of Adam Scott and Jason Day. No fewer than eight players shared the lead during that 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 Ranking in the year following his Masters success, but has since slipped to 126th after a string of performances that have not reached the same heights.
Like his South African counterpart, Branden Grace, Schwartzel joined the LIV Golf Series, where he won the inaugural event at Centurion Club.
5. Matthew Wolff
By capturing the 2019 3M Open, Wolff became the first player since Billy Hurley III in 2016 to win after receiving a sponsor waiver and only the third player to win both an NCAA title and a PGA Tour event on the same calendar year, joining Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw.
In his Major championship debut at the 2020 PGA Championship, Wolff achieved a T4 finish and just six weeks later, he finished second at the US Open, posting back-to-back top-five finishes in his first two Major championship appearances.
The American reached a career-best 12th place in the Official World Golf Ranking, but has struggled lately. Wolff has yet to play in the Open Championship and retired last year to focus on his mental health.
6. Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson has racked up twelve PGA Tour wins since turning pro in 2002; including the inclusion of two World Golf Championships.
The 43-year-old’s career is perhaps best defined by his two major championship victories, both at the Masters in 2012 and 2014. His second victory at Augusta National propelled him to a career-high in the Official World Golf Rankings. .
The American is unable to participate 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, highlighting a second-place finish in 2017 where he and Jordan Spieth battled at Royal Birkdale for the Claret Jug.
Kuchar has consistently competed in major championships with 12 top-10 finishes without going over the line. The defining moment of his career came at the 2012 Players Championship when he won the PGA Tour’s flagship 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 at any of the four Majors in 2021.