Ranking the entire 151st Open field, from No. 1 to No. 156
Make sure you’ve stocked up on your coffee!
The 151st Open Championship has arrived after a gusty Sunday up in North Berwick, Scotland. The winds are expected to die down for this week’s championship down at Royal Liverpool, but only slightly, as gusts are still supposed to reach the high 20 mphs on Friday and Saturday while a healthy bit of showers and high temps in the 60s are also in Hoylake’s forecast.
If it blows, Liverpool, a par 71 listed at 7,383 yards, can be downright punishing. If it doesn’t, Rory McIlroy did win here in 2014 at 17 under. That year McIlroy played the four par-5s in 12 under. This time out, players only getting three of them as the course layout was altered to accommodate the new par-3 17th hole; No. 10 has switched from the easiest par-5 to maybe the toughest par-4.
As always with this championship, it’s best to target guys with a history of playing well on Open rota venues. Liverpool should reward the flushers, who can control their ball well in the wind, limit their spin and avoid the many trouble spots from tee to green. Driving might be most important while more skilled chipping will be required as there are a lot of dropoffs around these putting surfaces.
There just isn’t much course history at Hoylake considering many of these guys (about 75% of the field) have never played it and almost no one has played it more than once (only 11 guys were here in 2006 and 2014). So, always best to go with ball-strikers who are playing well and don’t mind a little wind and rain.
Now, it’s time for what you really care about, a comprehensive ranking of all 156 players in the field:
1. Rory McIlroy: Not worried about the wind one bit after seeing those two final irons shots that won him Scottish Open. Reigning Open champ at Liverpool thanks to his 12-under play on the par-5s, he’s posted four top-5s at Opens since then. He’s the betting favorite this year as he enters with seven straight worldwide top-7s, including Sunday’s Scottish win and a runner-up at the U.S. Open. Expect another elite driving week and potential second claret jug.
2. Scottie Scheffler: Considering he’s now gone 19 straight weeks of T-12 or better, he’s the safest bet in the field. Building a nice Open foundation with finishes of T-8 and T-21 the past two years. Of the top four players in Data Golf’s expected major wins category this season, Scheffler is only one of the four without a major title this year. And he’s just ahead of Rory McIlroy and leading the Tour in strokes gained off the tee while also ranking No. 1 in approach and No. 5 around the green.
3. Brooks Koepka: I’d be shocked if he doesn’t contend. Made his first Open cut at Hoylake in 2014 (T-67), and prior to last year’s MC, he had finished in the top 10 in four of five Open starts. Loves the challenge, especially when weather is less than ideal. And he’s kicking himself after T-17 at U.S. Open.
4. Tommy Fleetwood: In great form as he’s contended in three of last four worldwide starts, including a T-6 at Scottish. Made Open debut in 2014 at Hoylake, missing the cut. But he’s been knocking on the door – runner-up in 2019 and T-4 last year. Ranks seventh in strokes gained around the greens. Also a home game-ish for him and a true home game for his caddie, who lives in Hoylake. He’s the best non-obvious pick.
5. Cameron Smith: Defending champ is coming off a win at LIV London and he top-10’d at both the PGA and U.S. Open. Love the course fit, but don’t forget that before last year’s triumph at St. Andrews, he’d cracked top 30 just once in four career Open starts.
6. Rickie Fowler: He’s been playing resurgent golf the past few months especially, nearly winning the U.S. Open before getting back in the winner’s circle in Detroit. T-2 at Liverpool in 2014. That’s one of his three top-6s in his Open career. Only missed one cut in 11 Open starts. Loves links golf and when conditions get tough, and he’s flushing it (seventh in strokes gained approach).
7. Jon Rahm: Had gone T-11, T-3 in Opens before a disappointing T-34 last year at St. Andrews. He’s also cooled off since his runner-up in Mexico in late April – one top-10 in four starts. Third in strokes gained approach, but shockingly just 17th off the tee. That said, he’s freaking Jon Rahm.
8. Viktor Hovland: He’s quickly becoming an Open force with a T-12 in his debut in 2021 and T-4 last year. Ranks seventh in strokes gained off the tee. Has cooled off since winning Memorial, but only slightly. T-25 at Scottish. Will find chipping here tougher than most.
9. Xander Schauffele: Five Open starts to his credit and nothing worse than T-41, though only top-10 is a T-2 at Carnoustie in 2018. That’s kind of been like his recent play – good but only great for a round or two. Closed in 74 to slip to T-42 at Scottish. Driver has been below his usual this season, but he is fourth in strokes gained approach.
10. Dustin Johnson: Two of his five career Open top-10s have come the past two years. He also was T-12 at Hoylake in 2014. Has two top-10s on LIV since T-10 at U.S. Open. That’s a lot of top-10s. Book DJ for another one.
11. Patrick Cantlay: Scottish MC was first missed weekend since Phoenix, as he’s been stellar with six top-10s since then. Mixed bag in four Open appearances, though his good has been really good – T-12 at Carnoustie in 2018 and T-8 last year at St. Andrews. Ranks fourth in strokes gained off the tee. A bounce-back is in order.
12. Tyrrell Hatton: Kudos to Hatton for being super consistent of late – seven top-20s in his past eight worldwide starts, including T-6 at Scottish, where he shot 62 in second round. Top-15 strokes gained off the tee and approach. He’s making his 11th career Open appearance, and last year’s T-11 was his third finish inside the top 11, adding to a T-5 at Troon in 2016 and T-6 at Portrush in 2019. MC at Liverpool in 2014, though.
13. Shane Lowry: His win at Portrush has reset his Open game as he’s gone T-12, T-21 since. Five top-20s in last six starts, too. Great driving and iron play this season, and he’s licking his chops looking at the weather forecast.
14. Collin Morikawa: Backed up win in Open debut at St. George’s with MC at St. Andrews last year. And there’s the back injury. But he’s resting up by not playing the Scottish, and don’t believe all the down-year talk. He still has been T-26 or better in the first three majors and is still an absolute flusher (second in strokes gained approach). Perfect buy-low guy.
15. Bryson DeChambeau: Five years of trying to figure out The Open paid off with a T-8 at St. Andrews, DeChambeau’s first finish better than T-33. He’s driving it at an elite level and that’s showed on both LIV and the majors (T-4 at PGA, T-20 at U.S. Open). The only concern – and it’s minor – is the rocky terrain, which have always given DeChambeau’s longer-shafted shorter irons and wedges a little trouble.
16. Min Woo Lee: Buying all the Min Woo stock. Didn’t have a great Scottish (T-35), but that T-5 at LACC was the major confidence boost he needed before he can become a stone-cold killer at these huge events. Bounced back from MC at St. George’s in 2021 with T-21 at St. Andrews. The length and ability to sting it better than almost anyone will play very well here.
17. Jordan Spieth: Hasn’t missed a cut in nine career Open starts and owns four top-10s aside from his 2017 victory. Yet, he’s missed four of past six worldwide cuts and isn’t inside the top 30 in any of the tee-to-green strokes-gained stats. Still, bump him up a touch considering Liverpool’s bumpy and uneven terrain.
18. Wyndham Clark: A couple weeks vacationing recharged him after his U.S. Open title run, and he posted a solid T-25 at Scottish. Made the cut in Open debut last year, though ended up T-76. Still, his top form, especially tee to green, can’t be ignored.
19. Tom Kim: His good has been really good of late – T-8 at U.S. Open, second after 54 holes at Scottish before final-round 73 pushed him back to T-6. T-47 in Open debut last year at St. Andrews, but top-10 approach player and top-50 off the tee. So even with a handful of MCs in recent months, I’m betting on another really good week.
20. Patrick Reed: Has yet to really find his groove at The Open, where he has four top-30s in eight starts but just one top-10. MC’d in debut at Liverpool in 2014. But has back-to-back top-5s on LIV, and he’s a grinder in the elements. Short game so, so good.
21. Cameron Young: Cam from The Bronx was runner-up in Open debut last year at Old Course, but he’s not had the type of sophomore season he’d hoped for after winning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. He did say he felt like results were coming, and then he went and tied for sixth at Deere. Elite driving could take him far, but don’t expect repeat of St. Andrews.
22. Tony Finau: His Open record is mighty impressive – no wins, but two top-10s and nothing worse than T-28 in six starts. And he’s sixth in strokes gained approach and essentially top 35 in driving and short game. However, his tee-to-green numbers are usually better, and he’s gone ice cold since winning in Mexico (five straight finishes outside top 30). I’m concerned, but The Open hasn’t failed him.
23. Robert MacIntyre: Something clicked for Big Shot Bob in Denmark, as the modest Scot went T-4 there and then nearly won the Scottish. Posted top-10s in each of his first two Open starts before T-34 last year that really was derailed by a second-round 74. Perfect timing to turn things around.
24. Corey Conners: Owns a pair of top-30 finishes in three Open starts, though has been hot and cold of late, alternating good and bad weeks. With that said, he appears to have bucked that trend at Scottish with a closing 66 in the fan and a T-19 finish. Too good off the tee and on approach to not be in conversation this week.
25. Brian Harman: He’s getting hot with three straight top-12s, including a T-12 at Scottish. Debuted at Hoylake in 2014 and was T-26. He then went on a run of four straight MCs, but he’s righted ship of late – T-19 in 2021 and T-6 last year. His stats don’t jump off the page, but put him in rain gear and watch him go.
26. Sam Burns: 2 for 2 in Open cuts made, with closing 64 at St. Andrews giving him a career-best T-42. Was contending at Scottish before 71-71 weekend (T-19). Losing strokes on approach, but solid driver-putter combo. No top-10s since Colonial.
27. Matt Fitzpatrick: A wee bit shocking that he’s not notched anything better than T-20 (2021) in seven Open appearances. And he’s coming off a MC at Scottish. Only been about a top-40 tee-to-green player this season. Of course, all that said and watch him top-10.
28. Ryan Fox: T-16 in 2019 at Portrush remains his best Open showing by far in six attempts. But he’s a top-30 machine with 11 of them this year (T-12 at Scottish). I like him around that number this week.
29. Max Homa: Just getting used to this championship with a T-40 in 2021 and MC last year playing alongside Tiger Woods at St. Andrews. MC at U.S. Open hurt, and he’s not been as good in majors as regular Tour events so far in his career, but he looked good at Scottish (T-12).
30. Denny McCarthy: Making Open debut, but few putt it better (third in strokes gained putting), and he’s been T-7 or better in three of past four Tour starts. Wish he’d played the Scottish as tune-up.
31. Si Woo Kim: Finally figured out the Open with a T-15 last year at St. Andrews. Top 30 in strokes gained off the tee and approach, and his chipping is underrated. MC last time out at Travelers, and recent major form isn’t great.
32. Justin Rose: Has made two decades’ worth of Open starts with nine top-25s, including a T-23 at Hoylake in 2014. Best finish was a T-2 a Carnoustie in 2018. Withdrew from last year’s Open with back injury. Has had a resurgent year, though two MCs in last three starts, at U.S. Open and Scottish. Short game will save him at times, but I’m worried about the driver (outside top 100 in strokes gained off the tee).
33. Hideki Matsuyama: Here’s a crazy stat – Matsuyama has one top-10 in eight Open starts, and it was T-6 in 2013 … when he was a first-year pro. He also hasn’t had a top-10 since The Players. Driver has been an issue, which stinks because his iron play and short game will play around Hoylake, even right now.
34. Justin Thomas: T-40 or worse in 5 of 6 Open starts, and with classic Open conditions expected, it’s not comforting that JT is fighting his game (case in point: closing 73 at Scottish to finish T-60). He’s plummeted to No. 20 in OWGR and has just one top-10 in last nine starts with MCs at Masters and U.S. Open. Still chipping it at elite level, but driver and even ball-striking have been slumping. He makes cut, though.
35. Talor Gooch: Won on LIV two starts ago. Consistent in two Open starts – T-33 in 2021 and T-34 last year. With gusty conditions on tap, expect something slightly better this week.
36. Sepp Straka: The Tank is fresh off winning John Deere as he looks to better his MC in Open debut at St. Andrews. No. 16 in strokes gained approach and accurate driver. Could surprise.
37. Gary Woodland: Has missed three straight Open cuts and doesn’t have anything better than T-67 in past five Opens. Does boast 10 made cuts in last 11 worldwide starts and is 11th or better in strokes gained off the tee and approach. T-25 at Scottish. He’s gotta do better than T-67 this week.
38. J.T. Poston: Got taste of links during MC in Open debut last year at St. Andrews. And his T-6 at Deere has launched him from string of MCs in recent months to contention at Scottish, where he ended up T-6. Lots of talk about putting, but he’s also not giving shots away elsewhere.
39. Jason Day: Three MCs followed his win at Nelson. Has missed back-to-back Open cuts, but before that he boasted six finishes of T-32 or better in eight starts. Not among them, however, was 2014 at Liverpool, where he was T-58. All that said, his stats are promising as he’s top 30 in strokes gained off the tee to go with his traditionally elite short game and putting.
40. Andrew Putnam: First Open start since debut at Portrush in 2019, when he finished T-32. Trendy pick at LACC before slipping to T-43. Hasn’t been great off tee (No. 172 in strokes gained), but he hits it low and absolutely rolls the rock (seventh in strokes gained putting).
41. Keegan Bradley: Was T-14 here in 2014, part of a run of three top-20s in four years at The Open, but he’s missed each of his last three cuts in the championship. Also, he’s surprisingly ranked outside the top 50 in strokes gained approach. Putter has looked much better. Travelers win was nice, but don’t overpay because of it.
42. Louis Oosthuizen: Hit or miss at Open since winning in 2010 with four missed weekends but also a pair of top-3 finishes in past 11 appearances. He hasn’t played a major in a while, though he’s got two top-10s in last three LIV events, and his putter is looking magnificent.
43. Sahith Theegala: Cooled off on weekend at St. Andrews (74-70) to back up to T-34 in Open debut. However, his MC at Scottish means he’s now gone seven starts without a top-25. He’s still been solid in the majors, and his creativity will be beneficial at Liverpool.
44. Adam Scott: Can’t say I didn’t call the MC at LACC. He also just missed the weekend at the Scottish, and his iron play has been poor-ish this season (No. 128 in strokes gained approach). We’re also still not over that runner-up at Lytham in 2012. Scott followed that disappointment with three straight Open top-10s, but since then he’s finished outside the top 40 in 3 of 6 starts. Driver will keep him in it, but I’m selling again.
45. Ewen Ferguson: The one they call “Knockoff Rickie Fowler” is making Open debut after winning twice on DP World Tour last year. T-4 at British Masters and a nice week at Scottish (T-12) have him trending.
46. Matthew Jordan: Longtime Royal Liverpool member playing his second Open after MC last year. Made Scottish cut (I’m ignoring that closing 80) and top-10’d at Scandinavian Mixed a few weeks ago, which makes it easier to ride the course history.
47. Russell Henley: You’d think his skillset would translate to links well (accurate, low ball-flight, nice short game), but he’s got one top-20 in eight Open starts with four MCs, including at Hoylake in 2014. His form is nice, as he’s got eight top-20s in last 10 Tour starts. But he needs to prove it in this championship before we’re willing to roll with him.
48. Adam Schenk: Making Open debut and has MC’d in his two major starts this year, but don’t totally count him out. He hits it low, and he’s got a trio of top-7s in his last five starts. This is just going to be uncomfortable territory for him.
49. Daniel Hillier: MC in only Open start, in 2021. But he won the British Masters, one of three top-5s in last five worldwide starts.
50. Byeong Hun An: T-3 at Scottish secures his ninth career Open start. Respectable record in this championship, as he’s made 5 of 8 cuts with three finishes of T-32 or better, including in each of past two editions. Had three straight top-25s on Tour before run of MC, MC, T-51 leasing into Scottish.
51. Alexander Bjork: 0 for 4 in making Open cuts, but he also had four straight top-10s on DPWT entering Scottish (T-35).
52. Richie Ramsay: The veteran Scot hasn’t played an Open since Birkdale in 2017, when he finished T-22, his best Open finish by far. Before that, he’d missed 4 of 6 cuts. T-7 or better in three of past six starts, all three on DPWT.
53. Jordan Smith: Eyeing fifth straight top-40 finish at Scottish (T-12, all four rounds in 60s). T-47 last year at St. Andrews. Made cut seems very reasonable this week.
54. Harris English: In seven Open starts, he’s cracked the top 45 just once – T-15 in 2013 at Muirfield. And despite T-8 at LACC, where you had to drive it well, he’s still No. 160 in strokes gained off the tee. Don’t love that.
55. Chris Kirk: His best finish in four Opens is a T-19 at Liverpool in 2014. Short game is top notch. Gaining some momentum with back-to-back top-25s after string of MCs.
56. Romain Langasque: Nothing inside the top 60 in three career Open starts. But he does have 10 straight cuts made now, mostly on DPWT, with four top-10s.
57. Nick Taylor: Play at Scottish is positive entering Open debut as he had a win but also four MCs in previous five worldwide starts. Good iron player but needs to drive it well to have a solid week.
58. Sungjae Im: Is Sungjae broken? Scottish MC was his fourth in last seven worldwide. T-24 best finish during that span. He’s also been slow to start in his Open career with an MC in 2019 and T-81 last year. His stats are still good – top 30 off the tee and around the green – but he’s clearly in a funk.
59. Yannik Paul: Trying to hold onto auto Ryder Cup bid and making his Open debut. Two top-10s on DPWT in past four starts, plus a solid showing at Scottish (T-25).
60. Joaquin Niemann: Yet to crack top 50 in three Open starts, and he’s been outside top 20 in three of last four LIV starts. He’s a low driver of golf ball, which I like, but hard to ignore the form and history.
61. Adrian Meronk: A strong showing at Hoylake could solidify his Ryder Cup spot. T-42 last year in Open debut at St. Andrews. Has missed three of past five cuts, however. T-3 at BMW International three starts ago shows there’s still something there.
62. Keita Nakajima: MC in Open debut last year at Old Course, but he had five straight top-3s, including a win, on the Japan Tour before T-18 last time out.
63. Rasmus Hojgaard: Three-time DPWT winner but this is his first Open. And he’s been impossible to predict, winning one week in Denmark and the missing the cut in Scotland. Previous handful of weeks have been like that, too.
64. Lee Hodges: Open debutant got back on track at Scottish (T-12) after back-to-back missed cuts. One of just handful to shoot under par in high winds. Above-average driver. Just major inexperience (two starts) working against him.
65. Victor Perez: Hopeful to add to his Ryder Cup resume, though he’s gone MC, T-34 in past two Opens. And he’s cracked the top 10 just once since winning in Abu Dhabi in January. T-35 at Scottish with level-par final round.
66. Marcel Siem: One of the surprises at 2021 Open, tying for 15th, though he’s also missed 3 of 5 career Open cuts. I do like the fact that he’s made eight straight cuts, including at Scottish, with a T-2 at the Porsche European Open thrown in.
67. Thomas Detry: Opening 64 in Scotland got him some positive momentum after back-to-back MCs, though he ended up T-42 and his tee-to-green numbers this season still aren’t amazing. Followed MC in 2021 at St. George’s with T-34 at Old Course. Not as high on him as I would’ve been if this were last fall.
68. Emiliano Grillo: There’s good and bad here, as Grillo owns a pair of Open T-12s, in 2016 and 2021, but has MCs in his other four starts. He hasn’t done much since winning at Colonial, and his short game can be shaky.
69. Joost Luiten: Missed four of eight career Open cuts, including in 2014 at Liverpool, with no top-30s. But the Joost has been loose lately with runner-up and T-8 in last two DPWT starts before Scottish (T-54).
70. Davis Riley: Making Open debut after top-25 at Scottish, which was must-needed because he had gone seven starts without a top-30 – and with four MCs – since teaming with Nick Hardy to win Zurich. Top-30 approach player, though average driver and below-average short game.
71. Thomas Pieters: 5 for 5 in making Open cuts, though nothing better than T-28 (twice). And his top-10 at LIV London was his first such finish in a while. Maybe he gets up for this week.
72. a-Jose Luis Ballester: The Arizona State junior is starting to break out. Top 5 at NCAA regionals, top at nationals, qualified for The Open and then wins European Amateur. My favorite for low am.
73. Matthew Southgate: Enters this week with three MCs and two top-12s in past five worldwide starts. Kind of like his Open record. Debuted in Open at Hoylake in 2014 and missed the cut, but he also owns a T-12 (2016) and T-6 (2017) in his Open career. First Open start since 2018.
74. Nicolai Hojgaard: T-6 at Scottish followed three MCs in previous four events. T-53 last year in second Open, at St. Andrews.
75. a-Christo Lamprecht: The British Amateur champion from Georgia Tech is really tall and really long – oh, and he’s got sweet hands. Now up to No. 3 in WAGR. Just needs to keep the wayward drives like the ones that plagued him at NCAAs away and he can challenge for low am.
76. Padraig Harrington: Two-time Open champ has Ryder Cup on his mind (as a player!) thanks to T-27 at U.S. Open and T-50 at PGA, though it’s hard to get super inspired by his recent Open record – four MCs in his last five starts. T-42 at Scottish.
77. Alex Noren: MC in last Open start, in 2021 at St. George’s, snapped a nice run where he went T-6, T-17, T-11 in three straight Opens. MCs at LACC and Scottish sandwich T-9 in Detroit. Top-10 short game, but nearly outside top 100 in strokes gained approach to go along with being No. 167 off the tee.
78. Henrik Stenson: He’s not done yet with two top-10s in last three LIV starts. Riding back-to-back MCs at The Open, though 2013 champ is 2 for 2 in cuts made at Hoylake.
79. Takumi Kanaya: Fourth straight Open start and has yet to make a weekend. Does have a win and two other top-3s in last five stars on Japan Tour, but it’d be different if he was doing that on PGA Tour.
80. Thorbjorn Olesen: T-64 at Liverpool in 2014, though he’s cracked top 12 twice in eight Open starts. Gaining some momentum after Scottish (T-25), though he drove it poorly, which can’t happen at Hoylake.
81. Lucas Herbert: Broke out in his third Open start by posting a T-15 last year at Old Course, but he’s not been same player who won in April on DPWT. Iron play and short game worrisome. T-15 at Travelers was a positive, but that’s really it of late.
82. Kurt Kitayama: In three Open starts, he’s gone MC, MC, T-72. Plus, the driver has been on and off of late, and it’s shown with three straight MCs before a barely made cut at Scottish. Maybe the driver hits this week, or maybe it doesn’t.
83. Ben Griffin: Had missed 6 of 9 cuts entering Scottish, where he turned it around with a T-25 and nice play in Sunday gusts. Short game top 20 on Tour. Still, this is his Open debut.
84. Pablo Larrazabal: Hasn’t made an Open cut since 2012, and his MC at Hoylake in 2014 started a streak of four straight MCs. He’s also missed three of four cuts since winning KLM Open.
85. Branden Grace: Sparkled at Birkdale in 2017 with a third-round 62 and T-6 finish, but otherwise his Open record is underwhelming – one top-35 in nine other starts and MCs in two of last three. Also, he’s gone from back-to-back top-3s on LIV to two straight finishes of 24th or worse.
86. Michael Kim: First Open start since making debut at Carnoustie and placing T-35 in 2018. MCs in four major starts since. Cooled off since T-6 at Colonial. Slightly positive strokes gained in all three tee-to-green facets.
87. Abraham Ancer: Closed in 65 last year at St. Andrews to end up T-11, his first finish better than T-59 in four Open starts. But he’s not been the same player this year. His 16th-place finish at LIV London was his best in a while.
88. Taylor Moore: Making open debut and has four MCs in last five starts (T-4, though, at Rocket). Drives it well enough to flirt with making weekend.
89. Kalle Samooja: Punched his debut Open ticket via top-4 finish at DPWT’S Denmark event earlier this month. Two MCs prior and one at Scottish after, though.
90. Laurie Canter: Normally top-20 machines are great, but he’s now playing against 47 guys each week on LIV. His three Open starts have been spaced out a bit, though recently T-79 last year at St. Andrews and T-37 at Birkdale in 2017.
91. Seamus Power: Irishman is another Ryder Cup hopeful, but a hip injury, which forced him to withdraw from the Scottish, will make it tough to bounce back from MC in Open debut last year at St. Andrews. Form had not been great either. Probably best to avoid until we get clarity on injury.
92. Tom Hoge: Yes, he ranks fifth strokes gained approach. But his other stats explain why he’s not cracked top 50 but twice since T-3 at Players – good thing is one of those is a T-19 at Scottish. Shot 74-76 to miss the cut handily in his Open debut last year at St. Andrews.
93. K.H. Lee: Tough MC in Open debut last year by going 69-77. Made Scottish cut snapped streak of four straight MCs worldwide. Outside top 90 in strokes gained off the tee and approach.
94. Billy Horschel: He may love The Open – and British football – but he’s missed five of eight career Open cuts. His best finish came last year when he was T-21 at St. Andrews. And it’s been an unfortunate year as he ranks No. 158 in strokes gained tee to green and has gone 14 straight full-field, stroke-play events without a top-30.
95. Antoine Rozner: Has made 10 straight worldwide cuts, but just one top-20 in that stretch. T-59 in first Open, at St. George’s in 2021.
96. Thriston Lawrence: Four MCs in last seven worldwide starts, including Scottish, but he did win the BMW International during that stretch. T-42 in Open debut last year at Old Course.
97. Zach Johnson: This will be 2015 Open champ’s third crack at Hoylake – MC in 2006, T-47 in 2014 – and he’s missed two straight Open cuts. He also missed five straight major cuts before going 2 for 2 this year (T-34 at Masters, T-58 at PGA). No. 162 in strokes gained tee to green, and not even a top-60 putter.
98. David Lingmerth: Crazy game. Had missed seven straight weekends before Scotish T-3 got him into his third Open, first since MC in 2016.
99. Brendon Todd: #ToddWatch was back at the Deere (T-2), though that kind of came out of nowhere. No. 175 in strokes gained off the tee, but bright spot is he’s fourth around the green. One of three career Opens was 2014 at Hoylake, where he was T-39. Don’t think that’s happening this time.
100. Christiaan Bezuidenhout: Not high on C-Bez. Not driving it great, short game not as sharp as it usually is. Back-to-back MCs and no top-10s this year. Nothing better than T-53 in three Open starts.
101. Dan Bradbury: Got a late invite into Joburg Open and won it, earning a spot at Royal Liverpool for his Open debut. Just two top-10s since then, and he wasn’t exactly a top college player.
102. David Micheluzzi: Couple of wins and two more runners-up this year on Australasian Tour. But he’s cracked top 20 just once in last six starts between PGA and DP World tours.
103. Adrian Otaegui: First Open for the Vowel Man since missing cut in debut at Portrush in 2019. Runner-up at KLM, but nothing else around that, including an MC at Scottish.
104. Richard Bland: T-22 at Royal Birkdale in 2017 remains his best Open finish in four tries. Nothing else better than T-76. Sixth last time out on LIV came out of nowhere.
105. Connor Syme: MCs in both Open starts, 2017 and 2019. But does have a couple top-15s in last five worldwide starts.
106. Danny Willett: Six of last nine worldwide starts have been MCs with no top-50s. Missed cut at 2014 Open but has gone 7 for 7 in making cuts since with a pair of top-6s.
107. Guido Migliozzi: Wow. He’s plummeted outside the top 225 in the OWGR. Just one top-10 and a lot of MCs since winning French Open last year. Two Open starts and two MCs in his career. Did make the Scottish cut and closed in 2 under high winds, though still didn’t crack top 50.
108. Sami Valimaki: Making Open debut after finishing second-to-last among players to make cut at Scottish and posting three MCs in five previous DPWT starts.
109. Matt Wallace: Not great in three career Open starts with best finish coming in last Open, in 2021, when he was T-40. Missed five of last nine cuts with nothing better than T-48. No. 13 in strokes gained around the green but outside top 170 off the tee.
110. Marc Warren: T-4 in Denmark – his best finish in over a year – to earn first Open start since missing cut in 2016 at Troon. Best finish of T-39 came here in 2014.
111. Jorge Campillo: His three Opens have been short stays as he’s missed the cut each time. Also has MC’d in three of past six DPWT starts with just one top-25.
112. Francesco Molinari: Not bad at all since winning 2018 Open, as he’s notched two top-15s in three years. Yet, he’s arriving on heels of five straight MCs on Tour.
113. Jazz Janewattananond: Fourth Open start after T-46 and first made cut in 2021. Had run of four straight top-10s earlier this year, but he’s slowed considerably with 6 of 8 finishes at T-57 or worse since.
114. Rikuya Hoshino: Climbed inside the top 70 in the world last year, but he’s back outside the top 125. Five of last seven DPWT finishes T-49 or worse. Zero for 2 in making Open cuts in his career. Though he was T-3 at the BMW International a few weeks ago.
115. Alex Fitzpatrick: Young Fitz went 2-2 in 2019 Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool. Now as a pro, he’s notched a trio of Challenge Tour top-10s, though he hasn’t been super consistent.
116. Charl Schwartzel: Best Open finish was T-7 at Hoylake in 2014, though outside top 60 in three of past four Open starts. And he’s been reeling on LIV with seven of nine events finishing 29th or worse.
117. Adri Arnaus: Showed signs of life at Scottish, whereas before that he’d missed 5 of 7 cuts with nothing better than T-70. T-76 last year is his best Open finish in two appearances.
118. Phil Mickelson: He’s come back down to Earth since T-2 at Masters in April, finishing outside the top 40 in three of his past four LIV events. Missed just four cuts in his first 23 Open starts. He’s missed four in his last five. Actually can’t wait to see the dark aviators and the soaked, all-black rain gear look.
119. Taiga Semikawa: Earned his Open debut via winning the Japan Open as an amateur last October. Has since won again on the Japan Tour and is comfortably inside the top 200 in the OWGR, though his form has slipped in recent events.
120. a-Mateo Fernandez De Oliveira: Roberto de Vicenzo became the first – and still only – Argentine to win The Open here in 1967. The recent Arkansas grad, though, will just be trying to make his first cut in a pro event in six tries.
121. Travis Smyth: Mini-Marcel making his Open debut, and though he’s got four top-13s on the Asian Tour this year, he’s not logged an OWGR start since April.
122. Shubhankar Sharma: First Open since posting back-to-back T-51s, in 2018 and 2019. Has missed three straight worldwide cuts and doesn’t have a top-10 since January in Abu Dhabi.
123. Stewart Cink: The 2009 Open champ has played two of his 23 career Opens at Liverpool with a best finish of T-47 in 2014. He’s missed each of his past two Open cuts, though, and if you throw out senior stuff, he’s not had a top-20 since 2022 Wells Fargo.
124. Scott Stallings: Has missed 7 of 9 cuts with nothing better than T-56 since his T-23 at the Masters. First Open since Liverpool in 2014, when he missed cut.
125. Alejandro Canizares: Former can’t-miss talent making his first Open start since 2012 at Lytham, where he missed the cut. Has logged just four OWGR starts this year after tying for fourth at last winter’s Aussie Open to earn his Open return ticket.
126. Trey Mullinax: Won last year’s Barbasol and then overcame damaged clubs to finish T-21 in Open debut at Old Course. But he’s missed 10 of 11 cuts since earning his way into Hoylake via API.
127. Oliver Wilson: Won in Denmark a year ago and then didn’t have a top-20 until T-2 at British Masters a couple weeks back. Has missed 5 of 6 career Open cuts.
128. Hiroshi Iwata: First Open start since 2015, and he’s yet to make a cut in three tries, including at Liverpool in 2014. Won on Japan Tour last spring, but no top-25s in what is now four straight starts on that tour.
129. Hurly Long: Finished top 30 in Race to Dubai last season to earn his Open debut, but he’s not finished better than T-30 anywhere since last October.
130. Gunner Wiebe: Had missed 13 of 14 cuts on DPWT before sharing second at British Masters to qualify for his first major. His dad, Mark, played 2014 Open and missed the cut.
131. Kensei Hirata: Beat Keita Nakajima in three-hole playoff to win Mizuno Open and punch his Open ticket. Fresh off back-to-back MCs on Japan Tour, however.
132. Callum Shinkwin: Was T-41 in last Open, in 2019, when he made his first cut in three tries. Seven missed cuts worldwide in counting, though.
133. Ernie Els: Has missed five of last eight Open cuts, including at Liverpool in 2014. But on the senior tour, he’s got four straight top-12s. Big Ern is going to beat a few younger guys.
134. a-Alex Maguire: Irishman making a run at the Walker Cup this year as he won the St. Andrews Links Trophy before making the quarters of the British Amateur. In The Open via his combined play from both.
135. Nacho Elvira: Making his major debut at age 36 thanks to runner-up in Denmark, which came after he missed 8 of 10 cuts worldwide.
136. Ockie Strydom: The 38-year-old former Sunshine Tour money winner is making his major debut. He won the DPWT’s Singapore Open earlier this year and was T-4 a few weeks later, but more recently he’s missed 7 of 8 cuts, including at the Scottish.
137. Kazuki Higa: No top-60s and eight MCs in oast 10 worldwide starts. Failed to make weekend in Open debut last year.
138. Seungsu Han: Korean Open champion making major debut, though that win was only his second top-10 on that tour this year.
139. Kyungnam Kang: Making major debut at age 40 and owns a handful of top-3s on the Korean Tour this year.
140. Kyle Barker: Won on Sunshine Tour earlier this year and fresh off a runner-up and T-7 on that tour.
141. Connor McKinney: Young Aussie got through regional and final qualifying to earn his Open debut, but other than recent T-5 on Challenge Tour, his pro career has been slow to start with a bunch of MCs. The putter can get hot, though.
142. Taichi Kho: Turned pro out of Notre Dame last January and two months later won the World City Championship in his native Hong Kong to punch his Open ticket. Three MCs on Asian Tour since.
143. Zack Fischer: Making Open debut after winning last year’s Argentine Open on PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Two-time Q-School medalist. But he’s been outside the top 40 in nine straight KFT events.
144. Bio Kim: Missed cut in his last start, the Korean Open.
145. a-Tiger Christensen: Move from Oklahoma State to Arizona has been good for the young German, who posted three top-10s this spring before T-7 at European Amateur.
146. Darren Clarke: At age 54 and with 30 Opens under his belt, the 2011 Open champ’s days are numbered. He’s missed each of his past five Open cuts. Does have three top-10s in last five senior starts.
147. Marco Penge: Second straight year he’s qualified into The Open. MC’d last year at St. Andrews, and he’s missed four straight Challenge Tour starts.
148. Martin Rohwer: South African has a couple top-10s this year, both on the Sunshine Tour, and he’s making Open debut.
149. Oliver Farr: Missed weekend in Open debut last year. Has missed 7 of 8 Challenge Tour starts entering this week – with a runner-up the other.
150. Kazuki Yasumori: T-3 at Mizuno Open to secure Open debut, but no top-20s in four Japan Tour starts since.
151. a-Harrison Crowe: Asia-Pacific Amateur champ has struggled this summer, finishing outside the top 50 at the St. Andrews Links Trophy and British Amateur.
152. Michael Stewart: Making Open debut. Part of 2011 GB&I Walker Cup team that beat Spieth, Cantlay and Co. Has missed 6 of 8 Challenge Tour cuts entering this week.
153. Brandon Robinson Thompson: This is his first Open. Has won and notched a few top-10s on the MENA Tour this year, though that’s more than a few levels of competition down.
154. Haydn Barron: Finished birdie-eagle at Aussie Open to punch his ticket to Hoylake, but he has no top-35s in last six Australasian starts.
155. a-Graeme Robertson: Former Walker Cupper who quit competitive golf for a few years earned first Open start by sinking a 40-footer on the fifth playoff hole of his final qualifier. If the putter stays hot, he could be a feel-good story. This is also his first OWGR start period.
156. John Daly: His last top 50 at The Open? 2010.