Tyrrell Hatton isn’t yet exempt into the Open

At long last, the R&A has released the qualifying criteria for the 150th edition of The Open Championship in 2022. Although it feels like it was delayed, it actually wasn’t long ago when the R&A confirmed the criteria right around the second week of December regularly. After the considerable, painstaking attention was required weekly to customize the 2021 field (because the 2020 edition was canceled), this season’s bonus is a return to the procedure of revealing all criteria at once.

All familiar (read: expected) criteria has been renewed since the last pre-pandemic staging in 2019. The Open Qualifying Series underwent a few adjustments, but it’s always been fluid given how tours’ schedules change every season.

The only notable pivot concerns the automatic qualifier from the Asian Tour. In place of its season-ending Order of Merit leader (that will not be granted an exemption with just eight tournaments contributing to a combined 2020-21-22 season), the winner of the Asia-Pacific Open Diamond Cup Golf will receive it instead. As noted in the section dedicated to The Open in REMAINING QUALIFYING CRITERIA below, the date for that tournament is “TBD.” Like all projections for which the exact date to fulfill exemptions is unknown, it’s slotted in the area of when it’s expected to be contested, which is its most recent regular date in May.

More than six dozen golfers have been added to the alphabetical list. Because former Open winners who remain eligible but who haven’t appeared in recent editions have been known to give it one more go at St. Andrews specifically, it wouldn’t be surprising if 1997 champion Justin Leonard returned to the event for the first time in six years, but he and Ben Curtis (2003) remain omitted.

The last exemptions to be distributed in 2021 will be determined by the final edition of the Official World Golf Ranking. Once it’s released, the top 50 will qualify for the Masters.

Tyrrell Hatton, situation

Currently, the following 10 golfers are not yet exempt into the major: Tyrrell Hatton (22nd in the OWGR), Matt Fitzpatrick (24th), Matthew Wolff (31st), Lee Westwood (38th), Mackenzie Hughes (39th), Tommy Fleetwood (40th), Ryan Palmer (47th), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (48th), Takumi Kanaya (49th), Min Woo Lee (50th).

The first three in order outside the top 50 and not yet exempt into the Masters are Ian Poulter (53rd), Cameron Tringale (54th) and Carlos Ortiz (55th).

UPDATE (Dec. 19): The Official World Golf Ranking released its end-of-year edition today. As a result, 10 golfers have secured exemptions into the Masters.

None of the 10 referenced in the last update of this page above (on Dec. 16) slipped outside the top 50 of the OWGR, and only Matthew Wolff (30th) and Lee Westwood (37th) have shifted positions. Of the lot, only Min Woo Lee will be making his Masters debut.

Cameron Tringale (51st), Ian Poulter (54th) and Carlos Ortiz (56th) remain the three highest-ranked golfers who have yet to qualify for the first major of 2022.

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