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British Open 2021: Who is in the field at Royal St. George's and who can still qualify

David Cannon/R&A

It’s been nearly 24 months since the R&A named Shane Lowry its last “champion golfer of the year,” the COVID-19 pandemic causing the cancellation of the Open Championship in 2020 for the first time since World War II. When R&A CEO Martin Slumbers announced the decision to hold off on playing a year ago, he specifically noted that all players exempt into the championship would be given spots when it returned to the calendar in 2021.

So it is that three golfers with top finishes at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational will be competing this month at Royal St. George’s. And why the Cole Hammer, winner of the Mark McCormack Medal in 2019 for being the top-ranked amateur in the world, is in the field.

“It might involve us changing the number of spots available in our qualifying events, but we felt it was the right thing to do,” Slumbers said last year. “We felt it was right to honor the agreement we had with players. Even if that will present us with challenges with regard to the field.”

In the end, the 2021 Open Championship has 44 different criteria for entry with five spots in the field still up for grabs this coming weekend at the Scottish Open (European Tour), John Deere Classic (PGA Tour) and Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge (Challenge Tour). And as some who have qualified have dropped out of the field in recent days—most notably Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim of South Korea, both of whom cited preparation for the upcoming Olympics—their spots have been filled by golfers on the “reserve list” with others likely to follow.

Below is the field as it stands on July 12:

Jaco Ahlers (38)

Byeong Hun An (17)

Abraham Ancer (4,13,17)

Marcus Armitage (38)

Sam Bairstow (a) (43)

Daniel Berger (4)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (4,5,6,20)

Richard Bland (8)

Keegan Bradley (Reserve)

Christoffer Bring (a) (28)

Dean Burmester (8)

Sam Burns (4)

Rafa Cabrera-Bello (5)

Jorge Campillo (5)

Patrick Cantlay (4,13,17)

Paul Casey (4,5,13)

John Catlin (Reserve)

Ricardo Celia (16)

Stewart Cink (1,4)

Darren Clarke (1,2)

Darren Clarke kisses the claret jug following his victory at the 2011 Open at Royal St. George's.

Streeter Lecka

Corey Conners (4,13)

Daniel Croft (44)

Joel Dahmen (40)

Jason Day (11)

Bryson DeChambeau (4,9,13,17)

Thomas Detry (35)

Ernie Els (1)

Harris English (4)

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (43)

Tony Finau (3,4,13,17)

Matt Fitzpatrick (4,5,6)

Tommy Fleetwood (3,4,5,6,13)

Sam Forgan (42)

Rickie Fowler (3,13,17)

Ryan Fox (19)

Dylan Frittelli (Reserve)

Abel Gallegos (a) (31)

Sergio Garcia (4,5,10)

Lucas Glover (13)

Talor Gooch* (4)

Branden Grace (38)

Lanto Griffin* (4)

Emiliano Grillo (Reserve)

Adam Hadwin (17)

Cole Hammer (a) (29)

Justin Harding (5)

Brian Harman (4)

Padraig Harrington (1)

Padraig Harrington celebrates after winning the 2007 Open at Carnoustie.

Warren Little

Tyrrell Hatton (3,4,5,6,7,14)

Benjamin Hebert (5)

Russell Henley* (4)

Lucas Herbert (33)

Garrick Higgo (8)

Daniel Hillier (41)

Charley Hoffman* (4)

Max Homa (4)

Billy Horschel (4)

Sam Horsfield (Reserve)

Rikuya Hoshino (22)

Viktor Hovland (4)

Mackenzie Hughes* (4)

Ben Hutchinson (43)

Yuki Inamori (21)

Jazz Janewattananond (18)

Dustin Johnson (4.9,10,13,14,17)

Matt Jones (37)

Takumi Kanaya (37)

Rikard Karlberg (33)

Martin Kaymer (Reserve)

Brad Kennedy (19)

Chan Kim (21)

Marcus Kinhult (5)

Ryosuke Kinoshita (39)

Chris Kirk* (4)

Kevin Kisner (4,13)

Kurt Kitayama (5)

Brooks Koepka (3,4.9,11,13)

Jason Kokrak (4.13)

Matt Kuchar (13,17)

Romain Langasque (5)

Deyen Lawson (42)

Min Woo Lee (35)

Richard T Lee (39)

Marc Leishman (4,13,17)

Haotong Li (5,17)

Yuxin Lin (a) (30)

Adam Long (Reserve)

Joe Long (a) (26)

Mike Lorenzo-Vera (5)

Shane Lowry (1,2,3,4,5)

Shane Lowry waves to the crowd as he walks up the 18th hole en route to victory at Royal Portrush in 2019.

Stuart Franklin

Joost Luiten (5)

Robert MacIntyre (3,4,5)

Richard Mansell (41)

Rory McIlroy (1,2,4,5,12,13,14)

Troy Merritt (Reserve)

Phil Mickelson (1,2,4,11)

Guido Migliozzi (8)

Keith Mitchell (40)

Francesco Molinari (1,2,5,7)

Collin Morikawa (4,6,11,14)

Sebastian Munoz (14)

Ryutaro Nagano (24)

Joaquin Niemann (4,17)

Alex Noren (7)

Shaun Norris (23)

Louis Oosthuizen (1,2,4,5,6,13,17)

Louis Oosthuizen's victory at the 2010 Open at St. Andrews is one of eight top-three finishes he has for his career in majors.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Carlos Ortiz* (4)

Ryan Palmer (4)

C.T. Pan (17)

Victor Perez (4,5,6)

Aaron Pike (37)

Nicholas Poppleton (44)

Ian Poulter (5)

Jon Rahm (4,5,9,13,14)

Aaron Rai (6)

Chez Reavie (13)

Patrick Reed (3,4,6,10,13,14,17)

J.C. Ritchie (20)

Justin Rose (4,13)

Antonie Rozier (Reserve)

Poom Saksansin (39)

Xander Schauffele (4,13,14,17)

Scottie Scheffler (4,14)

Matthias Schmid (a) (28)

Marcel Schneider (32)

Matthias Schwab (5)

Adam Scott (4,13,17)

Jason Scrivener (8)

Jack Senior (35)

Laird Shepherd (a) (26)

Marcel Siem (34)

Webb Simpson (4,12,13,17)

Cameron Smith (4,17)

Brandt Snedeker (13)

Jordan Spieth (1,2,4)

Brendan Steele (Reserve)

Henrik Stenson (1,2)

Henrik Stenson took down Phil Mickelson in a classic final-round dual at Royal Troon in 2016.

Warren Little/R&A

Kevin Streelman* (4)

Andy Sullivan (Reserve)

Justin Thomas (4,11,12,13,14,17)

Jonathan Thomson (41)

Brendon Todd* (4)

Cameron Tringale* (4)

Erik van Rooyen (5)

Daniel Van Tonder (reserve)

Harold Varner III (Reserve)

Johannes Veerman (33)

Jimmy Walker (11)

Matt Wallace (5)

Paul Waring (5)

Lee Westwood (3,4,6)

Bernd Wiesberger (5)

Danny Willett (3,5,7,10)

Gary Woodland (9,13,17)

Connor Worsdall (42)

Will Zalatoris (4)

• • •

QUALIFIED BUT NOT PLAYING

Ian Baker-Finch

Mark Calcavecchia

Ben Curtis

John Daly

Louis de Jager

David Duval

Todd Hamilton

Charles Howell III

Sungjae Im

Shugo Imahira

Zach Johnson

Joo-Hyung Kim

Si Woo Kim

Bernhard Langer

Paul Lawrie

Danny Lee

K.H. Lee

Justin Leonard

Hideki Matsuyama

Ryan Moore

Kevin Na

Juvic Pagunsan

Bubba Watson

Tiger Woods

• • •

RESERVE LIST

Wade Ormsby (AUS)

Matthieu Pavon (FRA)

Ross Fisher (ENG)

• • •

EXEMPTION CATEGORIES

1: Open Champions aged 60 or under on July 19, 2020

2: The Open Champions for 2010-2019

3: First 10 and anyone tying for 10th place in the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush

4: First 50 players on the OWGR for Week 21, 2021

(Players with * next to their names gained entry as the highest-ranked non-exempt players in the OWGR as of June 30)

5: First 30 in the final 2019 Race to Dubai rankings

6: First 10 in the final 2020 Race to Dubai rankings

7: BMW PGA Championship winners for 2017-2020

8: First 5 European Tour members and any European Tour members tying for fifth place, not otherwise exempt, in the top 20 of the Race to Dubai rankings on completion of the 2021 BMW International Open.

9: U.S. Open Champions for 2016-2021

10: Masters Champions for 2016-2021

11: PGA Champions for 2015-2021

12: Players Champions for 2018-2021

13: Top 30 players from the final 2019 FedEx Cup Points List

14: Top 10 players from the final 2020 FedEx Cup Points List

15: First 5 PGA Tour members and any PGA Tour members tying for fifth place, not exempt in the top 20 of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Points List for 2021 on completion of the 2021 Travelers Championship

16: 2019 VISA Open de Argentina

17: Playing members of the 2019 Presidents Cup teams

18: First and anyone tying for first place on the Order of Merit of the Asian Tour for 2019 & 2020

19: First and anyone tying for first place on the Order of Merit of the Tour of Australasia for 2019 & 2020

20: First and anyone tying for first place on the Order of Merit of the Sunshine Tour for 2019 & 2020

21: Japan Open Champion for 2019 & 2020

22: Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup Champion for 2020 & 2021

23: First two and anyone tying for second place, on the Official Money List of the Japan Golf Tour for 2019 & 2020

24: First two, not already exempt, in the 2021 Mizuno Open

25: Senior Open Champions for 2019 & 2020

26: British Amateur Champions for 2020 & 2021

27: U.S. Amateur Champions for 2019 & 2020 (must remain amateur)

28: European Amateur Champion for 2020 & 2021

29: Mark H McCormack Medal winner for 2019 & 2020 (must remain amateur)

30: Asia-Pacific Amateur Champions for 2019 & 2020 (must remain amateur)

31: Latin America Amateur Champions for 2020 & 2021 (must remain amateur)

32: Leading golfer, not already exempt, who has made the cut, in the 2021 Kaskada Golf Challenge

33: First three, not already exempt, who have made the cut, in the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

34: Leading golfer, not already exempt, who has made the cut, in the 2021 Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge (tournament held July 8-11).

35: First three, not already exempt, who have made the cut, in the 2021 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (tournament held July 8-11)

36: Leading golfer, in the top 5 and ties, in the 2021 John Deere Classic (tournament held 8-11)

37: OQS Australia - 2019 Emirates Australian Open

38: OQS South Africa - 2020 South African Open

39: OQS Singapore - 2020 SMBC Singapore Open

40: OQS USA - 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational

41: Final Qualifying - Hollinwell

42: Final Qualifying - Prince's

43: Final Qualifying - St Annes Old Links

44: Final Qualifying - West Lancashire