The 10 big names set to miss the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon

The high-profile names that will be missing when the action gets underway at Royal Troon for the Open Championship.

We’re edging toward the final Major of the year – The Open Championship and it doesn’t feel long ago that we were gearing up for the season’s first at Augusta National. Three months is all it takes for golf’s biggest tournaments to come and go, compared to tennis whose Grand Slam schedule is spread over nine.

But whether you like the bunched intensity of golf’s Major season or not, it’s here to stay, for the time being at least. And with each one that passes, an opportunity also slips by for several high-profile players, either through failing to achieve one of the 26 exemption criteria or failing to secure a spot through the super-competitive qualification pathway.

Since the inception of LIV Golf, players defecting to the breakaway tour have been starved of OWGR points and have largely relied on exemptions from previous tournament successes still being ‘in-date’, or on special invitations from tournament organizers.

Those who find themselves without either still have a pathway to making the field come July 18, however. Any amateur or professional player with a handicap of scratch or better has the opportunity to qualify for The Open Championship via 36 holes on Final Qualifying day, otherwise known as ‘golf’s longest day’.

But this is the end of the road for anyone deciding not to take part or falling short at one of the four host venues, and each Open will inevitably see some high-profile casualties. Here are some of the biggest names that will not be teeing it up at Royal Troon for the 152nd Open Championship.

Lee Westwood at 150th Open.

Lee Westwood

Appearances: 27 | Best finish: T2

The former World No.1 has made 27 consecutive appearances at The Open Championship from his 1995 debut, finishing a best of second in 2010. The Majesticks GC player who competed at the US Senior Open on the Champions Tour opted not to go down the qualification pathway for Troon. Westwood vaulted to 33rd in the LIV standings after a much-needed T3 in Nashville.

Martin Kaymer

Appearances: 12 | Best finish: T7

The 2014 US Open Champion took his place in the field in Pinehurst last month but will not tee it up at one of the Final Qualifying events. Kaymer made the cut, eventually finishing T64 in North Carolina, and is currently languishing down in 38th position in the LIV standings.

Ian Poulter at The Open a few years ago at Royal Birkdale.

Ian Poulter

Appearances: 20 | Best finish: 2

Another European Ryder Cup hero not heading up to Troon after turning down Final Qualifying for the second year running. Poulter has played in 20 Open Championships with second and third-place finishes in 2008 and 2013 respectively. Be it not for teammate Henrik Stenson’s 2016 Open triumph, Majesticks GC would have all three co-captains absent for the season’s final Major.

Patrick Reed

Appearances: 9 | Best finish: 10

The 2018 Masters Champion managed a top-10 finish at The Open in 2019 before joining the breakaway tour. P-Reed did not enter Final Qualifying for the US Open or Open Championship and failed in his bid to secure a place in Troon’s field via a top two spot at the Italian Open or BMW International Open on the DP World Tour through which he is eligible as a lifetime honorary member. Before Pinehurst, Reed had lined up in 41 consecutive Majors, dating back to the 2014 Masters.

Two Masters and many millions to his name, Bubba Watson has struggled with his mental health demons.

Bubba Watson

Appearances: 11 | Best finish: T23

The Open Championship has never been a particularly happy hunting ground for the two-time Masters Champion who is struggling to find any form at the wrong end of the LIV individual standings. The man with the pink driver has even missed the cut for the last two years at Augusta National which will likely be his only future Major outings.

Talor Gooch

Appearances: 3 | Best finish: T33

LIV’s Champion from 2023 is currently sitting 13th in the individual standings and didn’t particularly capitalize on his special invitation to compete at the 2024 PGA Championship, finishing T60 in Valhalla. The Smash GC player has turned down the opportunity to compete in Final Qualifying for a place in the field at both the US Open and Open Championship.

Paul Casey at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Paul Casey

Appearances: 19 | Best finish: T3

The five-time European Ryder Cup player is currently applying his trade on the LIV Tour as part of Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC. Casey will not play Final Qualifying and has now not featured at a Major championship since St Andrews in 2022.

Thomas Pieters

Appearances: 6 | Best finish: T28

The Belgian six-time European Tour winner has now dropped outside the top 300 in the OWGRs and has not competed in a Major championship this year. The Rangegoats GC player is 30th in the LIV standings and like many of his colleagues has opted not to play Final Qualifying for the Open.

Sergio Garcia failed to progress through Final Qualifying for the second year running

Sergio Garcia

Appearances: 25 | Best finish: 2 | Final Qualifying – West Lancashire (T6)

The Fireballs GC captain headlined the West Lancs field but fell at the final hurdle for the second straight year, finishing two shots off the pace. The 2017 Masters Champion had come through Final Qualifying for this year’s US Open at Pinehurst where he finished T12 but unfortunately will not get the chance to show his links pedigree at Troon.

Graeme McDowell

Appearances: 14 | Best finish: T5 | Final Qualifying – Royal Cinue Ports (T19)

The four-time PGA Tour winner and 2010 US Open Champion teed it up in Kent where but fell well short in his bid to make a 15th Open Championship field. The Northern Irishman is otherwise having a fairly solid yet unspectacular season for Smash GC where he sits in 21st position with three top-10 finishes. McDowell last played a Major in 2020, failing to make the cut at all three US-based tournaments.

About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Senior Digital Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Senior Digital Writer

Ross Tugwood is a Senior Digital Writer for todays-golfer.com, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He is an NCTJ-accredited journalist with post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

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