7 Big Names Missing The 151st Open Championship

The Open field is stacked like always but a number of huge names from the world of golf will be missing...

Four golfers in a montage and a 151st Open flag blowing in the wind overlayed
(Image credit: Future)

The Open Championship is essentially 'open' to any golfer with a handicap index of 0.4 or better, and casting the net out wide means that the field varies greatly each year.

The world's top 50 get in automatically as well as Major winners of the past five years, previous Open winners, qualifiers for the PGA Tour's Tour Championship, top-10 finishers last year and various other tournament winners and high finishers.

However, pros outside of the world's top 50 who don't meet the eligibility have to go through Final Qualifying, if they so choose, meaning that plenty of big names miss out on the chance to compete for the Claret Jug.

This year's 151st Open at Royal Liverpool will once again have a stacked field with almost all of the world's very best players, but some stars of the game look to have missed out - with a limited number of spots available at the Made in HimmerLand and Scottish Open tournaments.

Take a look at some big names who will be watching on from the sidelines this year...

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods of The United States plays his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

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As a three-time Champion Golfer of the Year, Woods is in The Open until he's 60 but he'll miss the championship for just the fifth time in his career this year.

He'll be sad to miss Hoylake, having famously won his third Claret Jug there over the baked fairways in 2006 where he hit just one driver all week on the way to a two stroke victory.

The 15-time Major champion also missed the PGA Championship and US Open as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery in April.

The subtalar fusion surgery he had was thought to alleviate pain in an arthritic joint below the ankle, so he should be able to return to professional golf once he has recovered and hopefully experience less pain when walking.

Will Zalatoris

Will Zalatoris watches his shot from the 16th tee during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship at Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

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The talented American will return to pro golf in September following back surgery, with the then-World No.8 going under the knife in April. Zalatoris will have missed every Major this year as well as the chance to make his Ryder Cup debut for Team USA.

He's still 13th in the world despite having not played since March. The Californian has finished runner-up in all three of the other Majors but has had a withdrawal and a T28 in his two Open starts to date.

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia hits a drive

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The Spaniard misses his first Open Championship since 1997 after failing to advance through Final Qualifying at West Lancashire Golf Club.

Garcia shot six-under-par for 36-holes, which was three strokes shy of taking one of the spots. The 2017 Masters champion was T2nd at Hoylake in 2014, the last time it hosted The Open.

He has two runners-up finishes in golf's oldest Major, most notably in 2007 when his putt to win lipped out at Carnoustie before losing to Padraig Harrington in a playoff. 

Lee Westwood

Westwood looks on whilst holding his yardage book

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Former World No.1 Westwood will miss The Open for the first time since 1994 after 27 appearances in the championship. He was 2nd in 2010 at St Andrews and also T3rd in 2009 and 2013. 

Unlike Garcia, Westwood didn't try to qualify for this year's event as he hoped to make his Senior Open debut instead if he didn't manage to make the field. As it turns out, he wasn't allowed to play in the Senior Open.

"I sit down at the start of the year, do a schedule, and see when the qualifying was for the Open Championship," Westwood explained. 

"I knew this was going to be a busy week, knew that I played Valderrama, thought it was a good opportunity to play my first ever seniors event and it be the Seniors Open Championship, which is the week after the Open."

Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter of Majesticks in LIV Golf

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Poulter has made 20 Open appearances but is missing the championship this year for the third time in his professional career.

The Englishman, co-captain of Majesticks GC in the LIV Golf League alongside Westwood and 2016 Open winner Henrik Stenson, famously finished 2nd to Padraig Harrington in the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale.

He also chose not to qualify, explaining, like Westwood, that it didn't work with his schedule. 

"I feel better, fresher, stronger, when I'm competing here on LIV, and as Lee said, if the qualifying date wasn't the date it was, maybe I'd have qualified or attempted to try and qualify," he said.

"But to sandwich 36 holes right in the middle of two tournaments that I'm working hard to play well on didn't make sense for me at the time."

Michael Block

Michael Block hits a driver off the tee

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The club pro rose to fame at the PGA Championship in May, where he finished T15th to qualify for next year's championship. The Californian famously made a hole-in-one during the final group playing with Rory McIlroy, and earned invites to the Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Canadian Open off the back of his performance.

Block travelled over to Scotland for Final Qualifying at Dundonald Links but was unable to make it through after rounds of 77 and 76. He came much closer to advancing through US Open qualifying in June, but will surely be excited to tee it up at Valhalla next year in the PGA Championship again.

Daniel Berger

Daniel Berger takes a shot at the 2022 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The former World No.12 has been somewhat of the forgotten man in golf and misses his fifth consecutive Major, having still not teed it up since last June's US Open. He is out with injury in his lower back and was set to play US Open qualifying last month before withdrawing.

The four-time PGA Tour winner posted a swing video to Instagram in May, so there is hope that he'll be back out competing in the near future.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5