8 Big Names Missing The 150th Open Championship

Take a look at some of the biggest names who won't be teeing it up at St Andrews for the 150th Open Championship

Daniel Berger golf swing
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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 to 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 ones golfing 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 all made the walk over the iconic Swilcan Bridge and hoisted the Claret Jug at the place where it all began.

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Whilst another significant moment in golf's history will be written come Sunday evening, not everyone has made it this far. Here we take a look at some of the biggest names that won't be featuring in the 150th Open Championship. 

1. Daniel Berger

Daniel Berger golf swing

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Daniel Berger is the best-ranked player that will be missing from the field at St Andrews. The 29-year-old, who is 26th in the Official World Golf Ranking, is unable to compete in the 150th Open Championship due to a back injury. He is replaced in the field by rookie Sahith Theegala.

Berger was a late withdrawal at the John Deere Classic and his last appearance came at the US Open, where he missed the cut following rounds of 70 and 75. The four-time PGA Tour winner finished T8 at the Open last year, won by fellow-American Collin Morikawa. 

2. Jason Day

Jason Day driver golf swing

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The Australian rose to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking in September 2015 with three dominant victories in a little over a calendar month. Those victories were significant - the PGA Championship, his first Major title, and two FedEx Cup Playoff triumphs at The Barclays and BMW Championship. 

The 34-year-old backed that up with three victories in 2016; including the PGA Tour's flagship event, the Players Championship, and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. 

His best finish in the Open Championship came at this year's venue in 2015 when he finished T4 - one stroke outside of the playoff won by Zach Johnson. Day has struggled to contend at the highest level since 2019 as a result of injury and finds himself outside the top-100 in the Official World Golf Ranking. 

3. Branden Grace

Branden Grace with the LIV Golf Portland

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Branden Grace made Open Championship history in 2017 at Royal Birkdale when he became the first male player to shoot 62 (8-under-par) in a Major championship. The T6 was also his best finish in the Open. 

The 34-year-old has ranked inside the top-100 of the Official World Golf ranking for the best part of a decade and peaked in 2015 when he reached a career best 10th following two victories and a string of top-10 results - including the US Open.

A dip in form that first began in 2019 ensued and the South African now finds himself outside of a qualification spot and 132nd in the ranking. Grace has since made the controversial move to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, where he won their second event in Portland. 

4. Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler at the 2022 US Open

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The American failed to qualify for the US Open earlier in the year and it remains increasing likely that he won't feature in the Open Championship. 

Fowler is in the field at the Genesis Scottish Open where three spots are available for the top-three finishers not already exempt, granted they also finish in the top-10.

The 33-year-old has made 11 consecutive starts in the Open Championship, with three top-10 finishes. Should he miss out, Fowler will have missed five of the past eight Major championships. 

The Olympian has notched five PGA Tour victories, including the Players Championship, in his impressive career to date but is without a win since the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open and has missed six cuts in 13 PGA Tour appearances this year; a run of form which has left him languishing at 150th in the Official World Golf Ranking - his worst since 2010. 

5. Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel celebrates victory at LIV Golf Series event at Centurion Club

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Schwartzel's career is best defined by his victory at the 2011 Masters, when he birdied the final four holes to finish two strokes ahead of Adam Scott and Jason Day. No fewer than eight players held a share of the lead during that final round, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The victory 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 that followed his Masters success but has since slipped to 126th following a string of performances that haven't quite reached the same heights. 

Like his South African counterpart, Branden Grace, Schwartzel has joined the LIV Golf Series - where the won the inaugural event at Centurion Club. 

6. Matthew Wolff

matthew wolff hitting an iron

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By capturing the 2019 3M Open, Wolff became the first player since Billy Hurley III in 2016 to win after receiving a sponsor exemption and only the third player to win an NCAA title and a PGA Tour event in the same calendar year, joining Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw. 

In his Major championship debut at the 2020 PGA Championship, Wolff posted a T4 finish and just six weeks later, finished second at the US Open, notching consecutive top-five finishes in his first two Major championship appearances. 

The American reached a career-best 12th in the Official World Golf Ranking but has struggled of late. Wolff is yet to play in the Open Championship having withdrawn last year to focus on his mental health. 

7. Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson hits iron shot

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Bubba Watson has amassed twelve PGA Tour victories since turning professional in 2002; including including two World Golf Championships.

The 43-year-old's career is perhaps best defined by his two Major championship victories, both coming at the Masters in 2012 and 2014. His second victory at Augusta National propelled him to a career-best second in the Official World Golf Ranking. 

The American is unable to feature in the Open Championship this year as he continues with his recovery from surgery for a torn meniscus. 

8. Matt Kuchar

Matt Kuchar

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The American has made 15 consecutive Open Championship appearances, highlighted by a second place finish in 2017 where he and Jordan Spieth battled it out at Royal Birkdale for the Claret Jug.

Kuchar has consistently contended in Major championships with 12 top-10 finishes without getting over the line. His career defining moment came at the 2012 Players Championship when he won the PGA Tour's flagship event.

The 44-year-old did not feature at the US Open last month and posted a T34 at the PGA Championship earlier in the year. He failed to make a cut in either of the four Majors in 2021. 

James Hibbitt
James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.