The field for The 150th Open will move ever close to completion on Sunday, with places up for grabs at the Horizon Irish Open and John Deere Classic.
Sixteen players came through Final Qualifying on Tuesday and six more spaces in the field are now set to be confirmed, with the Irish Open and the John Deere Classic each offering three places to the leading finishers (not already exempt for The 150th Open) inside the top 10.
Only three men in the John Deere Classic field – Simpson, Dylan Frittelli and 2015 Champion Golfer Zach Johnson – have already booked their spots at St Andrews, meaning opportunity knocks for a host of familiar faces.
Former World Number One Jason Day will be eager to secure a return to the Old Course, where he finished tied-fourth, one shot outside a play-off, in 2015. The Australian has not missed an Open since 2012.
Other notable names in the John Deere field include Adam Hadwin, Sahith Theegala, Anirban Lahiri, Emiliano Grillo and Brandt Snedeker. With only two further Open Qualifying Series events after this week – the Genesis Scottish Open and the Barbasol Championship – those players know time is running out for them to make it to St Andrews for a landmark Championship.
The Irish Open field features 26 players already assured of their Open starts: Adri Arnaus, Marcus Armitage, Alexander Bjork, Dean Burmester, Ashley Chesters, Thomas Detry, Ryan Fox, Oliver Farr, Padraig Harrington, Tyrrell Hatton, Lucas Herbert, Kazuki Higa, Nicolai Hojgaard, Matthew Jordan, Pablo Larrazabal, Thriston Lawrence, Min Woo Lee, Zander Lombard, Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntryre, Guido Migliozzi, Adrian Meronk, Thomas Pieters, Seamus Power, Jason Scrivener and Jordan Smith.
However, the majority of the field will still be in the hunt for Open berths, including Paul Dunne, who famously led after 54 holes at St Andrews in 2015 as an amateur.
Rasmus Hojgaard, Eddie Pepperrell, Lucas Bjerregaard and Matthew Southgate are among the other names still chasing Open qualification. Southgate had a near miss in Final Qualifying on Tuesday, when a missed birdie putt on the 36th hole at Prince’s left him in a five-man play-off that was won by Jack Floydd.