From last week’s winner Min Woo Lee to World Number Four Collin Morikawa, there’s an impressive list of European Tour members making their debut in this week’s Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.
While some of these players – like Morikawa and World Number 14 Hovland – would have been part of last year’s field before the championship was postponed, others like Min Woo Lee and Thomas Detry earned their places through Open qualifying spots in last week’s abrdn Scottish Open.
Elsewhere, recent winners Garrick Higgo and Daniel van Tonder, who both made it through thanks to their position on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Meanwhile, Antoine Rozner and John Catlin were among the players to get into the field later on through the reserve list of the first 50 players on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Here's a closer look at the European Tour members teeing up in their first Open, and how they got into the field.
After winning his second European Tour victory with a convincing five stroke victory at the Tenerife Open, Burmester qualified through his Race to Dubai rankings as one of the first 5 European Tour members, not otherwise exempt, in the top 20 of the Race to Dubai Rankings on completion of the 2021 BMW International Open.
Catlin completed his third European Tour win earlier this season at the Austrian Open before teeing up in his first Major - the US PGA Championship. Originally the 10th reserve, Catlin secured his place in The Open after David Duval withdrew, through the exemption for 'The first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021.'
A runner-up finish in last week's abrdn Scottish Open to Min Woo Lee in a play-off at The Renaissance Club secured Detry's first appearance at The Open, earning one of the three qualifying spots for just his fourth Major start.
In less than a year Higgo has totalled three European Tour wins and a win on the PGA Tour, and is making his third Major start of the year after debuts at the US PGA Championship and U.S. Open. Like Burmester, Higgo qualified through his Race to Dubai rankings as one of the first 5 European Tour members, not otherwise exempt, in the top 20 of the Race to Dubai Rankings on completion of the 2021 BMW International Open.
Two victories in three weeks last season jumped Horsfield up inside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and more top 10s this year helped him sustain that position - leading him to a debut in the US PGA Championship as well this year. Originally the 12th reserve, Horsfield secured his place in The Open after Zach Johnson withdrew, through the exemption for 'The first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021.'
The first Norweigan golfer to win on the European Tour (and the PGA Tour), and the World Number 14 will have officially competed in all four Majors when he tees up at Royal St. George's on Thursday. He would have earned his place in the field last year through the same category (having only turned professional in 2019): 'The first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021.'
Min Woo Lee
Min Woo Lee earned one of the three qualifying spots for The Open at the abrdn Scottish Open in style, making a birdie on the first play-off hole at The Renaissance Club to win his first Rolex Series title and second European Tour trophy. This will be his very first Major appearance.
The Italian recently went on an impressive run that included back to back runner-up finishes at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett and the Made in Himmerland. But it was his tie for fourth in the U.S. Open - his very first Major - last month that helped secure his debut at The Open as he climbed the Race to Dubai rankings and officially qualified as one of the first 5 European Tour members, not otherwise exempt, in the top 20 of the Race to Dubai Rankings on completion of the 2021 BMW International Open.
Like Hovland, World Number Four - and 2020 US PGA Champion Collin Morikawa - only turned professional in 2019 and would have made his debut last year through the same category: 'The first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021'. Instead, he makes his first start following a made cut at last week's abrdn Scottish Open, which was his first start since he finished in a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open.
Perez was one of a handful of players to qualify through several different categories, thanks to performances such as reaching the semi-finals of the WGC-Dell Match Play in March which saw him climb in to the game's top 30. Those categories were: The first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021, the First 30 in the Final Race to Dubai Rankings for 2019, and the First 10 in the Final Race to Dubai Rankings for 2020.
Last year's abrdn Scottish Open winner made it in to the field this year after he finished eighth in the 2020 Race to Dubai Rankings, qualifying through the category: First 10 in the Final Race to Dubai Rankings for 2020. He'll be teeing up in his third Major, having previously played the 2017 U.S. Open and 2021 US PGA Championship.
After last year's maiden win at the Golf in Dubai, Rozner added a second European Tour victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters - and to a career high ranking of 63rd. He made his Major debut at the US PGA Championship this year, and qualified for his second Major from the Reserve List on July 9 of the first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021.
Until this year, Schwab had missed out on qualifying for Majors (2012 Open and 2013 Masters) by a shot, but did play both the U.S. Open and US PGA Championship for the first time this year. He had qualified for The Open last year through the category of the first 30 in the Final Race to Dubai Rankings for 2019, and he retains that place this year.
A runner up finish in Abu Dhabi helped Scrivener's fast start on this season's Race to Dubai, and after more top 10s at the Made in Himmerland and Scandinavian Mixed, he secured his place in The Open through the same category as Burmester, Higgo and Migliozzi: The 5 European Tour members and any European Tour members tying for 5th place, not otherwise exempt, in the top 20 of the Race to Dubai Rankings on completion of the 2021 BMW International Open.
Daniel van Tonder
After four wins on the Sunshine Tour and a victory on the European Tour in Kenya in less than a year, Daniel van Tonder has had a fast rise up the World Rankings. It's through that category he qualified, replacing Joo-hyung Kim on July 4 in the first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021.
Johannes Veerman made it in to the U.S. Open field through a Final Qualifier, and his road to The Open was equally rewarded through good play, finishing third in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to gain one of the three qualifying spots. Had he not already qualified, his tie for eighth last week in Scotland would have also seen him make it in to the field.
After top 10s in both his debuts at The Masters and the US PGA Championship this year, Will Zalatoris booked his debut at The Open through his ranking as one of the first 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021.