The Open Championship is here, and this week at Royal Liverpool, the best golfers in the world will compete for the Claret Jug.
There are only two events left on the 2023 PGA Tour schedule, the 3M Open in Minnesota and the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, after the season’s last major.
The FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first of three FedEx Cup Playoff competitions, will be held in Memphis and will be attended by the top 70 players in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Scotland’s North Wick — On July 14, 2023, at The Renaissance Club, a PGA TOUR FedExCup flag is flown during the second round of the Genesis Scottish Open.
So before The Open Championship, let’s talk about the FedEx Cup bubble:
Players ranked 66th to 70th in the last five to enter. United States’ Ben Griffin (577 FedEx Cup points)
Griffin finished in a tie for 25th place in the Genesis Scottish Open, earning over 29 FedEx Cup points. Griffin is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Griffin finished 66th last week as well, so for the time being, his strong showing in Scotland keeps him on the right side of the bubble.
His tie for 14th place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational secured him a spot in the field at Royal Liverpool, where he will make his Open Championship debut this week.
Sam Ryder from the United States (575)
Sam Ryder failed to shoot a round under par throughout the first two days at The Renaissance Club, missing the cut in Scotland.
In his last four starts, this is the third time he has not advanced to the weekend; the Rocket Mortgage Classic stands out.
Even yet, his opening round 65 was the high point of his week in Detroit, as he tied for 40th place.
Unfortunately, Ryder is not participating in The Open, leaving him with only two events left to attempt to qualify for the Memphis playoffs.
JJ Spaun from the United States (no. 569)
Spaun’s downhill trajectory started when he failed to make the cut at the PGA Championship in May, and it has been going on for weeks.
Spaun earned 20 FedEx Cup points in total over his last two competitions, the Travelers Championship and the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Spaun is now in 68th place after failing to make the cut in Connecticut and tying for 33rd in Detroit.
Spaun will start this week’s Barracuda Championship at Tahoe Mountain Club in California even though he is not competing in The Open.
K.H. Lee, South Korea, number 69 (567).
At the Genesis Scottish Open, the 31-year-old player from Seoul placed 72nd and received just two FedEx Up points.
Lee has not been playing at his peak level for some time, as Playing Through pointed out last week.
Lee had missed four straight cuts prior to the Scottish Open and hadn’t placed inside the Top 20 since early May, when he tied for seventh at the Wells Fargo Championship.
But Lee is playing this week at Royal Liverpool, so maybe he can work some magic at The Open and surprise everyone.
There have been stranger occurrences.
United States (559) Davis Thompson, number 70
Thompson received 300 FedEx Cup points for being single second at The American Express in January.
Three weeks out from the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, he still depends on that performance as he clings to the 70th position.
To prepare for the 3M Open and Wyndham Championship, the former Georgia Bulldog is taking an additional week off.
The John Deere Classic was his most recent competition, where he tied for 31st place.
Players ranked 71st to 75th need assistance. Sweden’s David Lingmerth (557).
David Lingmerth, who took home his only PGA Tour victory at The Memorial Tournament in 2015, shot up to 71st in the FedEx Cup rankings after unexpectedly tying for third at the Scottish Open.
Lingmerth had missed the cut in each of his previous six competitions prior to his debut in Scotland.
Additionally, he pulled out of the RBC Canadian Open.
The Swede’s 2023 performance has been at best average save from a tie for sixth place at The Players.
To make it to Memphis, he will need to have one more strong performance over the upcoming three weeks. He needs to do well at Royal Liverpool to get things started.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry (556) is number 72.
Since tying for 12th in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, the 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year has been on the upswing.
At the Scottish Open, where he made his first start since the Travelers Championship, he once more tied for 12th.
Now that he has the game, the Irishman hopes to win another Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool.
Lowry is performing well, and he will be in a great position to travel to Memphis if he can turn in another strong performance this week.
England’s HOYLAKE — Irishman Shane Lowry has a beverage before the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on July 17, 2023.
US citizen Beau Hossler (553) is number 73.
Hossler, who competed for the University of Texas throughout his collegiate career, most recently tied for 26th place at the John Deere Classic. He failed to make the cut in Connecticut and Detroit in the two weeks prior.
Hossler, though, had previously made eight consecutive cuts, including one at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans when he placed third.
Hossler is set to make a comeback this week to compete in the Barracuda Championship, where he must at the very least make the cut to advance to Memphis.
Lee Hodges – USA (552), position 74
The Huntsville, Alabama-born player had a strong performance at the Genesis Scottish Open, where, like Shane Lowry, he tied for 12th place.
Hodges only had two top-ten finishes in 28 events this season, so his excellent performance in Scotland was exceptional.
However, he also finished in a tie for 12th place in the Memorial Tournament, which secured him a place in the Royal Liverpool field. Hodges will so debut at the Open Championship this week.
If he can maintain his strong play in the British Isles, it will benefit his prospects of making the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
United States’ Justin Thomas (546) is number 75.
The former world number one, Justin Thomas, is currently ranked 20th in the Official World Golf Rankings after having a difficult season.
At the U.S. Open, he shamefully missed the cut, but the following week, he bounced back at the Travelers Championship to tie for ninth.
He returned to missing the cut in Detroit the next week, though.
At the Scottish Open, Thomas most recently tied for 60th place.
The two-time major champion is now focused on Royal Liverpool, where he aims to finally claim the Claret Jug.
Thomas might be able to compete, but his prospects of making the playoffs are severely diminished if he misses the cut at a major tournament three times in a row.
Scotland’s North Wick — On July 14, 2023, Justin Thomas responds to his fairway wood shot on the fairway of the 10th hole while competing in the second round of the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.