8 Big Names Missing The US Open

Take a look at some of the biggest names that won't be teeing it up at Brookline

US Open montage
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The third men's Major of the calendar season is so very nearly upon us and whilst all eyes will be on the golfing elite, we take a look at a handful of those that won't be featuring at Brookline.

1. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods plays a shot during the second round of the 2022 Masters

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Tiger Woods will not be teeing it up at Brookline after the American withdrew from the tournament through injury. 

The fifteen-time Major champion made a sensational return to professional golf at the Masters earlier this year; 14-months on from a near-career ending car accident in Los Angeles. In what he described as a "game time decision", the 46-year-old opened up with a one-under-par round that placed him just outside the top-10.

Woods surpassed all expectations by making the cut and competed in all four rounds. The American returned at the PGA Championship but was visually in pain throughout. Despite making the cut, the former World No.1 was forced to withdraw following the completion of his third round. It would seem the same injuries have plagued his US Open preparation. 

2. Rickie Fowler

rickie fowler iron shot

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It is increasingly likely that for the second consecutive year, Rickie Fowler will not be involved in the US Open after the American came agonisingly short in the sectional qualifier at The Club at Admiral's Cove. The American is now second-alternate. 

After 41 straight Major appearances, Fowler will have missed four of the past seven. He has played in the US Open on twelve separate occasions, highlighted by a T2 finish in 2014 at Pinehurst No.2 - won by runaway champion, Martin Kaymer. 

Fowler 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 five cuts in twelve PGA Tour appearances this year. 

The 33-year-old's run of form has left him languishing at 146th in the Official World Golf Ranking, his worst since 2010. 

3. Matthew Wolff

Matthew Wolff hits iron shot

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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, led the US Open at Winged Foot going into the final round. Bryson DeChambeau proved to be too much to handle on that day but the American held on to second place, 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 has missed seven cuts in his eleven PGA Tour starts this year and frustration boiled over at US Open qualifying when he withdrew midway through his second round. 

4. Paul Casey

Paul Casey walking in the fairway

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The former World No.3 and Ryder Cup stalwart withdrew from the US Open as he continues to suffer with a back injury that has kept him on the sidelines since March.

The Englishman's injury-hit 2022 season is best highlighted by a third place finish at the Players Championship, where he finished two strokes behind Cameron Smith and picked up a cheque for over $1m. 

According to ESPN.com (opens in new tab), Casey hopes to be fit for the 150th Open Championship, at St Andrews next month.

5. 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. 

Although yet to feature on a winning team, Watson has represented Team USA in the Ryder Cup on four separate occasions. When World No.7 at the time, he was controversially overlooked for a wildcard by Captain Davis Love III but did accept a position as Vice Captain on the team.  The American is ruled out of US Open this year as a result of a torn meniscus for which he has recently undergone surgery. 

6. Christiaan Bezuidenhout

Christiaan Bezuidenhout hits driver

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Christiaan Bezuidenhout knocked on the door early in his DP World Tour career before it finally opened at the 2019 Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters and the following year, backed that up with victories at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the South African Open. In doing so, he became the first person since Justin Rose in 2017 with back-to-back victories on the DP World Tour.

In more recent times, the 28-year-old has tried his luck on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour and has returned some middle of the road results. The South African has made plenty of cuts but found himself languishing towards the back end of the leaderboard. 

At 68th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Bezuidenhout now finds himself as one of the best ranked players to not feature in this years US Open having just fallen out of the qualification spot prior to the cut off date. A qualification attempt at Kinsale & Wedgewood was not successful. 

7. Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood on final green removing hat

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The former World No.1 seemed to roll back the years when he posted consecutive second place finishes at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship.

In doing so, the Englishman climbed back into the top-20 of the Official World Golf Ranking and looked set to have made a resurgence in what is the twilight of his career. Unfortunately for Westwood, 2022 hasn't shown the same promise as the summer of 2021. In his twelve appearances across the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, the Englishman has only posted one top-20 finish. He has also missed the cut in each of his last three starts.

Westwood, who has finished in the top-10 in the US Open on five separate occasions, is now ranked 78th in the Official World Golf Ranking and outside of a qualification spot this year.

8. Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell driver follow through

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In 2010, Graeme McDowell became the first Northern Irishman, and the first European since Tony Jacklin in 1970, to win the US Open when he defeated Gregory Havret by a single shot at Pebble Beach.

The Northern Irishman received a ten year exemption as a result but that has since expired and he now finds himself far outside of a qualification spot. McDowell is the most recent past champion who will not be in the 2022 US Open field. 

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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.