Called in for an Open debut last year as one of the leading non-exempt players on the world rankings just before the Championship and returns now after a joint seventh-place finish at March’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Three places were on offer as part of The Open Qualifying Series, but winner Scottie Scheffler, joint runners-up Viktor Hovland, Billy Horschel and Tyrrell Hatton, plus fifth-placed Gary Woodland, were already exempt.
Gooch shared the lead there going into the final round, but could not repeat his maiden PGA Tour victory at the RSM Classic in November. On that occasion he closed with a 64 to triumph by three and so earned a first appearance in The Masters at Augusta National in April.
The former Oklahoma amateur stroke play champion’s father Ron spent five seasons in the minor league system of the Texas Rangers baseball team and was caddying when Gooch, aged nine at the time, won the US Kids world junior title.
Gooch had his first professional victory in 2017 on the Korn Ferry Tour and made the halfway cut on his major debut at the 2017 U.S. Open. Joint fifth in last year’s Players Championship and then tied for 33rd at Royal St George's.