I am all for having an eclectic and worldwide field for the Open Championship. That being said, I was triggered watching first alternate Cam Davis being interviewed early Thursday morning. The Aussie is the 55th-ranked player in the world who competed in the last Presidents Cup and finished T-4 at the 2023 PGA Championship. As he proved at Oak Hill, this is a man with a legitimate chance to win a major championship. Somehow, he is not in the field at Hoylake. I appreciate that the Open Championship has gone to great lengths to identify as the major with the most worldwide players. But, the tournament’s main avenue to create this kind of international field is the Open Qualifying Series, a group of events that grant exemptions to players.
Here’s the list of tournaments that grant exemptions: the Joburg Open, ISPS Handa Australian Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational, World City Championship, Wells Fargo Championship, Mizuno Open, the Memorial, KOLON Korea Open, Betfred British Masters, Made in HimmerLand, and the Genesis Scottish Open. Would it be too much to ask for exemptions for the top couple of non-exempt players in the majors too? Imagine a tennis player making it to the semis at Wimbledon and then not being in the U.S. Open a few weeks later. It would never happen. I am all for the Open being a world major and having an eclectic field, but when you don’t have one of the world’s best international players in the field, you need to reevaluate your qualification standards.
This piece originally appeared in The Fried Egg newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.