While it’s setting up for a fascinating weekend at The 149th Open as we wait to find out who will lift the Claret Jug on Sunday evening, not everyone will be here for the party.
With Friday’s cut line eventually settling at +1, those at +2 or above are heading home – undoubtedly disappointed not to have the full four-round Open experience.
There were some big names among those to miss the cut, so here’s a quick breakdown of who you won’t be seeing at Royal St George’s on Saturday or Sunday.
FORMER CHAMPION GOLFERS MISS THE MARK
It was a rollercoaster week for 2018 Champion Golfer Francesco Molinari who played brilliantly in the tough Thursday afternoon conditions to shoot a two-under 68 and looked set for a charge when he birdied the 1st on day two.
But the wheels quickly came off as three bogeys, a double-bogey at the 9th and a crippling four-over-par seven at the par-three 6th meant the four further birdies he made was only enough for a 74, leaving him at +2 and missing the cut by a stroke.
He was not the only former Champion Golfer exiting stage left as winner in 2016 Henrik Stenson also ended at +2 after back-to-back 71s, Ernie Els could only card 72 and 72 for +4, while Phil Mickelson’s nightmare 80 on Thursday put him on course to end on +12.
Stewart Cink had a brilliant Thursday and was right in contention at -4 but a 77 on Friday saw the 2009 winner drop like a stone to +3.
And it was not a fairytale return to Royal St George’s for 2011 Champion Darren Clarke, whose creditable opening-round 71 wasn’t enough as a five-over Friday 75, including a triple-bogey on the 10th, left him at +6.
But as he walked to the 18th green on Friday afternoon, the likeable Northern Irishman still received a rapturous reception from the fans in the grandstands who undoubtedly still remember that magical week on the Sandwich links a decade ago.
MAJOR WINNERS MAKE EARLY EXIT
The top three of Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Louis Oosthuizen may all be looking to add to their major collection this weekend but some other former winners of the world’s biggest tournaments won’t have that opportunity.
US PGA champion from 2011 Keegan Bradley missed out by a stroke as did his successor five years later Jimmy Walker.
The 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed was a +3 casualty, which was also the final score of Gary Woodland, despite the 2019 US Open champion birdieing the final three holes on Friday.
Two-time major winner Martin Kaymer agonisingly missed a birdie putt on the 18th that would have booked his spot on the weekend and 2009 US Open victor Lucas Glover struggled to +5, as 2015 US PGA king Jason Day battled hard with three birdies on Friday’s back nine but the damage had already been done as his 70 couldn’t undo Thursday’s 75.
BEST OF THE REST
Australia’s Marc Leishman, who finished T2 at The 2015 Open and has two other Open top-tens to his name, shot 67 on Friday but Thursday’s birdie-less 75 put him narrowly the wrong side of the cut line.
Tyrrell Hatton was highly fancied heading into the week but couldn’t hide his frustration as a +2 total sent him home, while world No.7 Patrick Cantlay (+3) was the highest-ranked man to miss the weekend.
Amateur Champion Laird Shepherd ended his Championship on +3, the owner of the lowest round in major history thanks to his 62 at Royal Birkdale in 2017, Branden Grace, made an eight en route to the same score, while Matt Kuchar won’t have the opportunity to recreate his memorable 2017 duel with Spieth after ending on +6.