The Open Championship Injury News & Player Notes

Jul 18th 2023

Nick DeMott

This column will provide any field updates, injury news, and other player notes in the days leading up to The Open Championship.

Field Updates

Sunday (7/16)

  • David Lingmerth (IN), Byeong Hun An (IN), and Nicolai Hojgaard (IN) joined the field as the top 3 finishers at the Scottish Open not previously exempt.

Alternates List:

  1. Cam Davis

  2. Adam Hadwin

  3. Matt Kuchar

  4. Mito Pereira

  5. Keith Mitchell

INJURY REPORT (as of 10am ET, 7/18):

Harris English (personal) -- IN

English has not competed since finishing T60 at the Travelers Championship (6/25). He withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic a few days prior to the start of the event (6/27).

According to social media posts English was on paternity leave, suggesting his absence over the past few weeks was not injury related.

Jordan Spieth (wrist) -- IN

Spieth appears to be past a left wrist injury that concerned him back in May and June. At the U.S. Open (6/15-6/18), Spieth was no longer playing with any sort of brace or wrap on his left wrist and forearm (which he had needed during the PGA Championship and for a few events after).

Spieth finished T5 at the Memorial Tournament at the beginning of June, though enters this week's Open Championship having missed the cut in his previous two starts at the U.S. Open and Genesis Scottish Open.

Hideki Matsuyama (neck) -- IN

Despite missing the cut in his most recent start at the Rocket Mortgage Classic (7/2), Matsuyama has remained relatively healthy this Summer. He finished T13 at the Travelers Championship (6/25), T32 at the U.S. Open (6/18), and T16 at the Memorial Tournament (6/4).

Nonetheless, Matsuyama's neck injury continues to be something to monitor week-to-week and any time he tees it up in an event. Matsuyama has dealt with this neck issue intermittently for the past two seasons.

At this moment, Matsuyama appears good to go for The Open at Royal Liverpool.


Older News:

According to a statement from PGA Tour Communications on April 28th, Matsuyama returned home to Japan after The Masters in order to receive treatment for his neck. However, according to the statement, Matsuyama's neck had not improved enough for him to compete at Quail Hollow.

Matsuyama ultimately returned to action at the AT&T Byron Nelson (May 11th-14th) after missing the Wells Fargo Championship. He finished T23 after shooting a final round 66 (-5) at TPC Craig Ranch.

Yannik Paul (back) -- IN

Paul withdrew from the BMW International Open (6/22-6/25) due to a back injury but then returned the next week at the Betfred British Masters where he finished T8. This injury appears not to be an issue for Paul who competed at the Genesis Scottish Open this past week and finished T25.

Seamus Power (hip) -- IN

Power withdrew during the first round of the Genesis Scottish Open last Thursday due to a hip injury. The Irishman was two-over par through nine holes at the time of the WD.

Power is currently in the field for The Open at Royal Liverpool. With the severity of his hip injury being unknown at this moment, it will be important to monitor Power's health status in the days leading up to the start of the year's final major.

July 17th update: Per Garrett Johnston on Twitter, Power's manager said the hip issue was a flare up and he withdrew from the Scottish Open out of caution. The scan came back clear and Power is working with trainers to be ready for The Open this week. Power was seen practicing at Royal Liverpool on Monday.

Louis Oosthuizen (elbow) -- IN

On March 19th, Oosthuizen revealed to SI Golf’s Alex Miceli that he’s been playing through a tendon tear in his elbow this year on the LIV tour. According to Miceli’s report, Oosthuizen has dealt with this elbow issue for the past three years but managed the pain well with cortisone shots. Before LIV’s new season, Oosthuizen sent his MRI results to Dr. Keith Meister, head physician for the Texas Rangers, who told him that he can play through the pain without making it any worse. While surgery would have meant being out for 3-5 months, it appears Oosthuizen has continued to manage the issue this year and play through it. (Check out the full report here.)

Oosthuizen enters this week's Open Championship in decent form–he finished 4th at LIV London (7/9), T23 at LIV Valderrama (7/2), and T6 at LIV DC (5/28).

John Daly (knee) -- IN

Daly withdrew from the PGA Championship back in May (5/15) due to issues with a left knee replacement. He also withdrew after 13 holes from the Senior PGA (5/25).

Daly returned on the Champions Tour on June 25th. Most recently, Daly finished T53 at this past week's Kaulig Companies Championship on the Champions Tour. He's currently in the field for The Open.

Aaron Wise (undisclosed) -- OUT

Wise has not competed on the PGA Tour since missing the cut at the U.S. Open on June 18th. He was initially listed in the field for the Travelers Championship but pulled out of that event (6/17).

Wise missed part of the season in April and May as he decided to focus on his mental health before returning to the PGA Tour. This could explain Wise's limited schedule at the moment, though no official updates have been made on Wise's status.

July 14th update: Wise did not qualify for The Open Championship. He also was not listed in the field for the Barracuda Championship.

Kevin Kisner (illness, personal) -- OUT

Kisner is not in the field for either The Open Championship or the Barracuda Championship this week.

He withdrew from the Travelers Championship during round one on June 22nd due to an undisclosed illness. He was seven strokes over par through nine holes at TPC River Highlands at the time of the WD. The 39-year-old has now either missed the cut or withdrawn in each of his last seven starts in stroke play events on the PGA Tour.

Kisner was originally committed to play in the Rocket Mortgage Classic but then was not listed in the announced field last Friday. When asked on Twitter about why he chose not to tee it up at Detroit GC, Kisner replied "BC I suck right now."

Kisner's long-time caddie Duan Bock was the on-the-bag for Sepp Straka at the John Deere Classic. That relationship will continue this week at The Open with Kisner still sidelined.

Tiger Woods (ankle, foot) -- OUT

Woods announced on April 19th that he underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to address his post-traumatic arthritis from a previous talus fracture. He is currently recovering and looks forward to beginning his rehabilitation.

The 15-time major champion withdrew in his most recent start at The Masters, citing a reaggravation of his plantar fasciitis after being seen walking with a noticeably worse limp during the third round. In February, Woods expressed his goal to play in all of the major championships this year. However, given this news of another ankle surgery and upcoming rehab, expectations should be tempered for Woods' chances at playing in the next three majors.

May 22nd update: Woods officially withdrew from the U.S. Open on May 22nd, and there's currently no official timetable for his return.

June 16th update: Woods officially withdrew from The Open Championship on June 16th, and there's currently no official timetable for his return.

Will Zalatoris (back) -- OUT FOR SEASON

Zalatoris announced on his Instagram account on April 10th that he underwent successful surgery on his back and will miss the rest of the season.

Zalatoris withdrew just prior to his first-round tee time at The Masters. As it turns out, Zalatoris was dealing with the same back issues (herniated discs) that caused him to be out for the last four months of 2022. Zalatoris has had a very promising start to his career, winning his first PGA Tour event last summer at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, but will now miss at least another five months following a microdiscectomy.

I've seen some confusion out there–this is the first time Zalatoris had back surgery. He did NOT have surgery in 2022 for this issue.

May 22nd update: Zalatoris announced on the ESPN broadcast during last week's PGA Championship that he feels pain-free for the first time in two years following back surgery. He's targeting a September return to the PGA Tour.

July 8th update: Zalatoris announced on Instagram that he would start chipping this upcoming week. This suggests that his recovery from back surgery is going well and that he's still targeting a September return to the PGA Tour.

July 17th update: Zalatoris revealed that he was about six weeks away from making full swings and that he would "probably" start playing again middle of October. He added that he's been finishing his degree from Wake Forest during his time off from the PGA Tour.

Daniel Berger (back) -- OUT

Berger remains sidelined from a back injury that has kept him out since the 2022 U.S. Open. Berger tried to play through this injury last season but said “that was definitely not the answer.” Instead, Berger has opted to take a more patient approach in his recovery. There's currently no timeline for his return to the PGA Tour.


This article from AP News provides background and insight into the back injury Berger has been dealing with for the past year. In the article, Berger notes that it's not a career-ending injury but knows it'll be a challenge to get back to where he was as a top player in the world.

Berger has been posting clips on his Instagram account of him swinging a golf club, suggesting that his return could come soon though there is no official date or tournament that he's committed to yet.


Berger was originally slated to compete in one of the U.S. Open final qualifiers on Monday (June 5th) as he was given a tee time for the qualifier in Boynton Beach, Florida but withdrew a couple of days prior.

Hayden Buckley (chest/rib) -- OUT

Buckley suffered a torn muscle in his chest and rib area which forced him to withdraw from the Rocket Mortgage Classic on June 26th.

According to a Twitter post from Buckley, he met with a team of doctors who diagnosed pain in his rib area as a torn muscle. Buckley's recovery time is uncertain, and so it's currently unclear when he might return to the PGA Tour.

The 27-year-old reached as high as 71st in the Official World Golf Rankings this season, thanks in part to three top-5 finishes. However, Buckley missed the cut in each of his last four starts, which could make more sense if he attempted to play through injury. It will be important to keep an eye on updates on Buckley's health status in the coming weeks.

Maverick McNealy (left shoulder) -- OUT

McNealy announced in an Instagram post on June 21st that he would be out for the next few months due to a torn left anterior sternoclavicular ligament. He's hopeful to return to the PGA Tour sometime in the Fall.

McNealy first suffered this injury back at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, which caused him to miss about a month of the season. At the beginning of June, at the RBC Canadian Open, the injury worsened and McNealy decided to properly address the nagging ailment by taking time off.

According to McNealy's social media post, the injury won't require surgery. Instead, McNealy plans to focus on physical therapy, biomechanics analysis, golf swing chances, and regenerative stem-cell treatments in order to treat the injury. Though not confirmed, it appears McNealy will likely miss the remainder of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season as he looks to return once fully healthy at some point in the Fall portion of next season's schedule.

Jhonattan Vegas (elbow) -- OUT

Vegas announced on his personal Twitter account on April 27th that he suffered an elbow injury related to the one that plagued him last year. He underwent surgery in April of 2022, and then later in the year Vegas opted to take the entire Fall portion of the PGA Tour schedule off due to this recurrent injury.

The 38-year-old has not played in a PGA Tour event since the Valspar Championship (3/19). Vegas said the recovery is taking longer than he expected but is working hard to return as soon as possible.

Erik Barnes (knee) -- OUT

Barnes underwent knee surgery on April 3rd and is without a timetable for his return to the PGA Tour.

The 35-year-old rookie posted on Twitter that he was having reconstructive surgery on his MPFL and a repair of his MCL. Barnes said he's battled knee subluxation issues for the last couple of years which have worsened over the past few weeks. According to Barnes' social media post, the surgery was successful but he expects a long road in his recovery and eventual return to the PGA Tour.

John Huh (elbow tendinitis) -- OUT

Huh has yet to play in an event in 2023 due to elbow tendinitis. His last start came at The RSM Classic (November 20th, 2022).

Philip Knowles (hand) -- OUT

Knowles announced on his Instagram account that he severed a nerve in his thumb back on February 1st, underwent surgery on February 24th, and started swinging a golf club again on April 14th.

He noted that (as of May 1st) he's nearly back to full function but "range of motion is limited due to scar tissue" and "lack of sensation in the outside part of my thumb."

Knowles made a rehab start on the Korn Ferry Tour on June 25th at the Compliance Solutions Championship but missed the cut.

Other Player News:

Sepp Straka

Straka will continue to work with Duane Bock–long-time caddie for Kevin Kisner–who first caddied for Straka when he won the John Deere Classic two weeks ago. This player-caddie relationship appears to be continuing for the foreseeable future.

Barracuda Championship (alt. field event):

Cameron Champ -- IN

Champ is currently listed in the field for this week's Barracuda Championship. He withdrew from the Barbasol Championship last Tuesday for an undisclosed reason.

Adam Long (neck) -- IN

Long battled a minor neck issue during last week's Barbasol Championship. It clearly wasn't a big deal as Long contended for much of the event, though eventually drifted back to a T16 finish.

Nicholas Lindheim (back) -- IN

Lindheim has missed the majority of this season due to a back injury. His last start on the PGA Tour came last Fall at the Shriners Children's Open (10/7). A few weeks after the Shriners, Lindheim withdrew from the Bermuda Championship (10/27) and WWT Championship at Maykoba (10/31) due to this injury.

Since the end of March, Lindheim has made five rehab starts on the Korn Ferry Tour:

  • T8 at Club Car Championship (3/26)

  • T8 at LECOM Suncoast Classic (4/23)

  • T27 at UNC Health Championship (6/4)

  • 3rd at Compliance Solutions Championship (6/25)

  • Won at The Ascendant (7/16)

Lindheim is currently listed in the field for this week's Barracuda Championship.

Luke List (foot) -- IN

List withdrew from the John Deere Classic a few days before the start of the event due to a foot injury (7/4). This same injury caused List to WD from the Rocket Mortgage Classic prior to his second-round tee time (6/30).

List returned this past week at the Genesis Scottish Open and finished T35. He's currently in the field for the Barracuda Championship.

Justin Lower (illness) -- IN

Lower withdrew the night prior to the start of the John Deere Classic after testing positive for COVID (7/5). He returned this past week at the Barbasol Championship and finished T44.

S.Y. Noh (back) -- IN

Noh withdrew from last week's Barbasol Championship during the first round due to a back injury. He played just six holes at Keene Trace Golf Club and was three strokes over par at the time of the WD.

This appears to be a new injury for Noh who had made eight consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour entering the Barbasol. He's currently listed in the field for the Barracuda Championship, though his health status will be one to monitor.

Scott Piercy (back) -- IN

Piercy withdrew during the second round of the John Deere Classic due to a back injury (7/7). He returned this past week at the Barbasol Championship but missed the cut on the number.

The 44-year-old has been dealing with this injury since withdrawing a few weeks ago during the Travelers Championship (6/23). He also pulled out of the field at the Rocket Mortgage Classic prior to the start of the event (6/25).

Piercy is currently listed in the field for the Barracuda Championship though his health status will be worth monitoring in the days leading up to the start of the event on Thursday.

Brandt Snedeker (chest/sternum) -- IN

Snedeker returned at the Memorial Tournament (June 1st-4th) and finished T41 after missing more than nine months due to a chest injury. He also played the following week at the RBC Canadian Open (June 8th-11th) but missed the cut after shooting 79-76. Snedeker missed the cut as well at the Rocket Mortgage Classic (June 29th-July 2nd) and John Deere Classic (July 6th-9th).

Snedeker underwent a rare sternum procedure called a Manubrium Joint Stabilization last December and started hitting balls again on April 1st.