The PGA Tour heads for Ohio this week and Jack Nicklaus’s event at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Hideki Matsuyama defends the title in The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.

Lowdown:
The PGA Tour heads for Ohio this week and Jack Nicklaus’s event at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Hideki Matsuyama defends the title in The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.

An impressive line-up of star players will contest this prestigious event. Masters champion Jordan Spieth will tee it up, so too will Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods.

The 220 acres on which Muirfield Village GC sits was acquired in 1966 though the course was not officially opened until 1974. Built in the outskirts of Jack Nicklaus’s hometown of Columbus, the course and the Memorial Tournament were the work and dream of the Golden Bear.

Muirfield Village has played host to the Memorial since 1976 and the course was also used for the 1987 Ryder Cup matches, the 1992 US Amateur and the 1998 Solheim Cup.

Past winners of this tournament include Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Fred Couples and Tiger Woods. The former World Number 1 took this title three years straight from 1999 to 2001 then in 2009 and again in 2012. Woods starts again this week, his first appearance since he finished tied for 69th at The Players Championship.

Last year, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama came through a playoff against Kevin Na of the USA to win his first PGA Tour title.

Muirfield Village has traditionally been one of the most challenging layouts on the regular PGA Tour circuit. Last year, the scoring was a good deal better than in previous seasons, but that was largely down to the course being soft because of rain earlier in the week, and the fact there was little or no wind to contend with. Expect a winning score around the 10-under-par mark.

The weather looks like being a touch unsettled with warm temperature but the threat of rain and perhaps thunderstorms. The wind might play its part too.

Venue: Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, Ohio
Date: Jun 4-7
Course stats: par 72, 7,256 yards
Purse: $6,200,000 Winner: $1,116,600
Defending Champion: Hideki Matsuyama (-13)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 7.30pm
Friday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 7.30pm
Saturday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm
Sunday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm

Player watch:
Hideki Matsuyama – The defending champion will surely draw on good memories at Muirfield Village. He has seven top-10 finishes to his name on the 2015 PGA Tour.

Brooks Koepka – The powerful youngster should thrive on this course. He may not have played here before, but that was also the case when he won in Phoenix. Four rounds in the 60s last week suggests he’s on good form.

Charley Hoffman – He was tied second last week in the Byron Nelson and finished in the top-20 in this event last year.

Key hole: 18th. A long, par-4 finishing hole of 484-yards, it averaged 4.338 last year. This season the fairway bunkering has been redesigned and could catch more drives. The players will need to carry the ball fully 350 yards if there to get past all the sand.