Ryan Palmer managed to hang on to an Open bid by a thin margin despite not teeing it up last week in the Travelers Championship.
The top 20 in FedExCup points after Travelers earned exemptions into The Open next month in Northern Ireland if they were not already exempt. That group included Palmer, who hung onto the 20th spot and has now accrued 998 points this season - just 13 more than reigning Open champ Francesco Molinari, who finished T-57 in Connecticut but came up short of passing Palmer. The American teamed with Jon Rahm to win the Zurich Classic in April, and now he'll make his second Open appearance in the last three years.
While five slots were set aside for top-20 players to qualify, 17 of the top 20 were already exempt for the season's final major. Others to clinch spots in the Portrush field Sunday include Travelers winner Chez Reavie, who moved from 35th to 12th with his victory, and Charles Howell III, who is currently 15th in points.
The same top-20 cutoff applied to the European Tour's Race to Dubai, meaning David Lipsky, Kurt Kitayama, Robert MacIntyre, Richard Sterne and Erik van Rooyen all now have spots in The Open. Choon Hwang and Dong-Kyu Jang both qualified via high finishes at the Kolon Korea Open, while Ireland's James Sugrue qualified by winning the British Amateur.
This week the Open Qualifying Series continues with the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where the top two players not otherwise exempt (among the top eight) will earn spots at Portrush, while the top three not otherwise exempt (among the top 10) at the European Tour's Andalucia Valderrama Masters will also qualify.