The field for The 150th Open will move closer to completion this week as The Open Qualifying Series resumes with events in Japan and the Netherlands.
More than two months have passed since the last OQS event, which saw Chris Kirk and Talor Gooch secure their places at St Andrews at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Four places in The 150th Open will be available at JFE Setonaikai Golf Club, to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties at the Mizuno Open.
The Dutch Open, meanwhile, is part of The Open Qualifying Series for the first time. Places in The 150th Open will be awarded to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties at Bernardus Golf.
Familiar faces seek Open returns
The field for the Dutch Open contains a host of players who have impressed at The Open in recent years but are not yet exempt for this year’s Championship.
The likes of Haotong Li, Marcel Siem, Eddie Pepperell, Matthew Southgate, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Chris Wood will each be hoping to claim one of the three qualifying spots available in Cromvoirt.
Veteran Dane Thomas Bjorn, who came so close to glory in 2003, will also compete in the Dutch Open along with Matti Schmid, last year’s Silver Medal winner at Royal St George’s.
Kristoffer Broberg is the event’s defending champion. A repeat of his success 12 months ago would earn the Swede a first Open appearance since 2016.
Javier Ballesteros, the eldest son of the great Seve Ballesteros, is another notable name in the field having received a tournament invite.
Seve Ballesteros is among several Champion Golfers to have lifted the Dutch Open trophy, having won the event in 1976, the year of his sensational breakout performance in The 105th Open at Royal Birkdale.
Twelve players in the Dutch Open field – Alexander Bjork, Dean Burmester, Ashley Chesters, Thomas Detry, Nicolai Hojgaard, Thriston Lawrence, Zander Lombard, Guido Migliozzi, Thomas Pieters, Jason Scrivener, Bernd Wiesberger and Sihwan Kim – are already exempt for The 150th Open.
The Mizuno Open will also feature numerous players with past experience of The Open, including Yuki Inamori, Yuta Ikeda, Gunn Charoenkul and Yosuke Asaji.
Shingo Katayama, Ryo Ishikawa – a past winner of the Mizuno Open - and Hiroyuki Fujita have the opportunity to end lengthy waits for a return to The Open, having last played the Championship in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Hideto Tanihara, who is also playing in the Mizuno Open, boasts one of the more curious Open records of recent times. He has missed the cut in six of his seven appearances, but finished tied-fifth at Royal Liverpool in 2006.
The only Japanese player to have recorded a higher finish than Tanihara at The Open is Masahiro ‘Massy’ Kuramoto, who placed tied-fourth at Royal Troon in 1982.
Forty years on from that superb showing, Kuramoto is in the field for the Mizuno Open at the age of 66 and could therefore secure a stunning return to The Open for the first time since 1991.
Last year’s Mizuno Open was won by Juvic Pagunsan, who returns in 2022 together with the man he beat to the title, Ryutaro Nagano.
Three players in the field – Matthew Griffin, Shugo Imahira and Yuto Katsuragawa - have already booked their places at St Andrews.
Following the Dutch Open and Mizuno Open, a further 26 places in The 150th Open will be allocated via The Open Qualifying Series in June and July.