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And just like that, there is only one major remaining in the men’s golf season.

The Open returns to Royal Troon from July 18-21, the first time the South Ayrshire links has hosted golf’s oldest major since Henrik Stenson outlasted Phil Mickelson in that epic duel in 2016.

And what makes this famous Championship so great is that anyone can take part. Through the Open Qualifying system, amateur golfers and professionals with a scratch handicap or better are effectively only ever three rounds from a spot in the 156-player field.

• How do you qualify for the Open Championship?

• 9 big names set for Open Final Qualifying

But that does not mean some big names do not miss out. Whilst some try and fail to enter through Final Qualifying – the 36-hole marathon known as ‘golf’s longest day’ – others choose not to take that opportunity after failing to meet the entry criteria.

Here are eight big names we already know will not be playing in the 152nd Open at Royal Troon…

Big names missing from The Open

Patrick Reed

The 2018 Masters champion did not enter Final Qualifying for the US Open and can only qualify for The Open by claiming one of two spots available at this week’s Italian Open. Before missing last month’s US Open, Reed was on a streak of 41 consecutive majors, dating back to the 2014 Masters.

Bubba Watson

It would appear that the two-time Masters champion is done with major championships, apart from his annual jaunt to Augusta National. Watson never shone on the links, with a T23 in the Open his best finish.

Paul Casey

Casey’s best Open was at St. Andrews in 2010, where he finished in a tie for third behind winner Louis Oosthuizen. The Englishman has now not played in a major since the 2022 Open at the same venue.

Ian Poulter

For the second year in a row, Poulter turned down the opportunity to play in Final Qualifying. He will instead be among the home favourites at LIV Golf UK, which is held at JCB Golf Club, the following week.

• How the 6 big names fared at Regional Qualifying for The Open

• Lee Westwood ‘disappointed’ that tour can’t resolve LIV problem

Lee Westwood

Westwood has made his debut in the over-50s majors at the US Senior Open, but it would appear he has no interest in trying his luck for The Open after turning down his shot at Open Qualifying.

Talor Gooch

So much has been made of Gooch’s desire to play in golf’s ‘Big Four’, yet he has turned down the chance to qualify for both the US Open and The Open through Final Qualifying.

Martin Kaymer

The 2014 US Open champion has not won since, well, the 2014 US Open. The former world No.1 showed signs of a turn in form on his Pinehurst return in June, but won’t be improving on his career-best T7 finish at The Open.

Thomas Pieters

Thomas Pieters will have gone the whole of 2024 without playing a major. The Belgian, now outside the top 300 in the Official World Golf Rankings after his LIV switch, did not enter Final Qualifying.


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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