At the time of writing there are 34 players on the start list for the 145th Open Championship who will be making their debut in the great event at Royal Troon. Below we take a closer look at 10 Open first timers who might make an impact.
Tony Finau (USA)
World Ranking: 80
Qualified by: World Ranking
Credentials: He’s been a professional since 2007 but has really started to come to the fore in the last couple of years. He’s a hugely powerful player who should have the ball-striking ability to cope with Troon’s testing back nine. He won the Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour earlier this year and was 10th and 14th in last year’s U.S. Open and UPGA Championships.
Soomin Lee (Kor)
World Ranking: 85
Qualified by: European Tour ranking
Credentials: He’s climbed from outside the top-1500 on the Official World Golf Ranking to inside the top-100 in the space of 12 months. He won on the Korean Tour as an amateur and then defended that tournament as a professional. He won the Shenzhen International on the European Tour earlier this season.
Zander Lombard (RSA)
World Ranking: 252
Qualified by: Second place in Joburg Open
Credentials: He’s enjoyed a good season with a fourth place finish in the Australian PGA last December then a second place in the Joburg Open. He’s a talented young player and he knows a bit about the links. He’s played at Royal Troon before and he was runner-up to Bradley Neil in the 2014 Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.
Callum Shinkwin (Eng)
World Ranking: 276
Qualified by: 9th place in Open de France
Credentials: He’s not enjoyed huge success on the professional stage yet – his biggest cheque on the European Tour came in this year’s French Open where he was tied 9th. But he had an excellent amateur record. He won the English Amateur of 2013, beating Matt Fitzpatrick in the final. He has good experience of playing links golf.
World Ranking: 293
Qualified by: Third place in Quicken Loans National
Credentials: He had an exemption for Royal Troon as the world’s leading amateur player at the end of 2015. But he gave that exemption up by turning professional a week after making the cut at the U.S. Open. The Quicken Loans National was his first professional event and he finished third, earning his place back at Troon. Twice a winner of the Spanish Stroke Play championship and best individual at the Eishenhower Trophy, he’s quite a player.
Jack Senior (Eng)
World Ranking: 548
Qualified by: Winning final qualifying at Hillside
Credentials: He’s won in Scotland before – last year’s Scottish Hydro Challenge on the European Challenge Tour. But, his position on this list largely stems from his amateur career. He won the Lytham Trophy in 2011 and then competed in the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen later that year.