Is The Open Really Open?

openlogo.jpgGolfweek's Alistair Tait makes some good points about the Open Championship qualifying, which is down to 12 spots after all of the exemptions.

Here are the recent qualifiers according to the R&A, with two spots remaining:

Qualifiers for The Open
Recent qualifiers for The Open through exemption categories 8, 15 and 16 and at Local Final Qualifying are: -
8. The leading player, not exempt, in the first 10 and ties of the 2006 Open de France, the 2006 Smurfit European Open and the 2006 Barclays Scottish Open. *
Marcus Fraser (Australia)
Anthony Wall (England)
15. First 2 USPGA Members and ties not exempt in a cumulative money list taken from the USPGA Tour Players Championship and the five USPGA Tour events leading up to the 2006 Western Open.
JJ Henry (USA)
Billy Andrade (USA)
16. The leading player not exempt having applied 15 in the first 10 and ties of the 2006 Buick Championship, the 2006 Western Open and the 2006 John Deere Classic. *
Hunter Mahan (USA)
Matthew Goggin (Australia)
* Still to be played

Local Final Qualifying
Conwy (Caernarvonshire)
Jon Bevan (Wessex Golf Centre)
Warren Bladon (Unattached)
Mikko Ilonen (Finland)
Jim Payne (Southport & Ainsdale)
Andrew Marshall (Unattached)
Darren Parris (North Foreland)
Danny Denison (A) (England)
Gary Day (Cookridge Hall)
Marcus Brier (Austria)
West Lancashire
Nick Ludwell (Selby)
Gary Lockerbie (Unattached)
Adam Frayne (St Mellion)