Four fascinating fields are set to tee it up in Final Qualifying for The 150th Open, with competitors ranging from a 15-year-old amateur star to a 64-year-old Open Champion.
Fairmont St Andrews, Hollinwell, Prince’s and St Annes Old Links will each stage 36-hole stroke play events on Tuesday, with the leading four players at each venue earning the tantalising reward of spots in The 150th Open at St Andrews.
Ahead of the action getting under way, we have picked out some of the standout names competing at each venue.
You can also view the full draw here, while our live blog will bring you all of the action from 6:30am on Tuesday.
Fairmont St Andrews
Situated just a few miles along the coastline from the Old Course, Fairmont St Andrews provides a tantalising reminder of the prize on offer at Final Qualifying.
The venue holds wonderful memories for Grant Forrest, who will be looking to enjoy further success at the Fairmont having won the DP World Tour’s Hero Open there in 2021.
PGA TOUR rookie Aaron Rai, who was 19th on his Open debut at Royal St George’s, is another player in the Fairmont field who has recently triumphed in Scotland, at the 2020 Scottish Open.
Last year’s Amateur Champion Laird Shepherd will seek to secure a second successive Open start having now turned professional, while another notable name is Austin Lemieux. The son of ice hockey star Mario Lemieux, Austin was one of over 140 players who came through Regional Qualifying on June 20.
The field at Hollinwell contains a player who made a huge impression on The 149th Open at Royal St George’s.
Jonathan ‘Jigger’ Thomson made a memorable hole-in-one on the 16th hole at Sandwich and is now hoping to come through Final Qualifying at Hollinwell for the second year in succession.
Andy Sullivan and Robert Rock bring plenty of pedigree having claimed four and two DP World Tour titles respectively. Sullivan played in the opening group on day one last year as he made his sixth successive Open appearance, while Rock’s best finish in the Championship came at St Andrews in 2010 when he tied for seventh.
Also in action at Hollinwell is Barclay Brown, a member of Great Britain & Ireland’s Walker Cup team in 2021, and Richard Mansell, who like Thomson came through FQ at Hollinwell 12 months ago.
The venue for The Open in 1932, when Gene Sarazen lifted the Claret Jug, Prince’s will welcome a man who enjoyed a career highlight at the venue 12 months ago.
Sam Forgan came through Final Qualifying in dramatic fashion while he was being followed as part of our Road To The Open series, securing a spot in The 149th Open at Royal St George's. He and Connor Worsdall - another successful qualifier at Prince's 12 months ago - will be aiming to repeat the feat on the Kent coast.
Forgan and Worsdall will be joined at Prince’s by 2017 Open Silver Medallist Alfie Plant, fresh off a victory on the Challenge Tour on Sunday.
John Gough – a semi-finalist at the recent Amateur Championship - and 57-year-old Nepalese player Kumar Kami are also in the field.
St Annes Old Links
St Annes Old Links will play host to two players with contrasting levels of experience, 15-year-old amateur sensation Sean Keeling and 1985 Open Champion Sandy Lyle.
Roganstown’s Keeling produced a stunning performance to win the Regional Qualifying event at County Louth with a seven-under-par round and now stands 36 holes away from a truly incredible achievement.
Two-time major winner Lyle, meanwhile, is looking to add to his 43 appearances at The Open – only Gary Player (46) has made more – as he bids to qualify four years on from hitting the opening tee shot at Carnoustie on the last occasion he was exempt as a past Champion aged 60 or under. Lyle came through qualifying at St Annes Old Links 48 years ago to reach his first Open.
Sam Bairstow is also in the St Annes field and sure to be high on confidence. The only amateur to come through Final Qualifying last year, when he progressed at the same venue, Bairstow also performed superbly when reaching the final of The Amateur Championship last weekend.
He will be joined at St Annes by Alex Maguire, who made the last four of The Amateur Championship.