The PGA Tour heads for Ohio this week and Jack Nicklaus’ event at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Jason, Jordan and Rory will all tee it up in The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
An extremely strong field has assembled in Columbus Ohio to do battle for this prestigious event at Muirfield Village. David Lingmerth of Sweden defends at The Memorial, but he will face stern opposition as the big three face off at Jack’s Place. Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy will all tee it up, so too will Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and 2014 winner Hideki Matsuyama.
Day, three times a winner already this season, will be looking to win at a venue which is in his adopted home town – his wife Ellie grew up about an hour away from Columbus. McIlroy won on his last start in the Irish Open and Jordan Spieth was winner last week at Colonial. It’s shaping up nicely for quite a battle.
Rory swing sequence:
There’s an increased prize fund this year. The 120-man field will do battle for a total of $8,500,000 with the winner pocketing $1,615,000. It’s one of the richest tournaments of the year.
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’ 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.
Last year David Lingmerth of Sweden came through a playoff against England’s Justin Rose. Although Lingmerth will be back to defend, Justin Rose is not in the field owing to a back injury.
Rain and thunderstorms could disrupt the first couple of days of the event.
Venue: Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, Ohio
Date: June 2-5
Course stats: par 72, 7,392 yards
Purse: $8,500,000 Winner: $1,615,000
Defending Champion: David Lingmerth (-15)
Thursday 2 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30pm
Friday 3 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30pm
Saturday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm
Sunday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm
The big three face off at Jack’s place and all eyes will be on them. Who might sneak under the radar?
Matt Kuchar – He’s on a great run of form that includes three straight top six finishes. He’s a former winner of this event – in 2013 – and he has a fabulous record in the tournament; seven top-10 finishes since 2007.
Hideki Matsuyama – The 2014 champion clearly enjoys this course and that was confirmed by a top-five finish on his defense in 2015. He’s on solid form with a worst finish of 11th in his last four starts.
Kevin Kisner – His form had cooled somewhat in recent months but a tie for 10th at Colonial last week could trigger a return. He was tied eighth in this event last year.
Key hole: 18th. A long, par-4 finishing hole of 484-yards, it generally averages well above par. For last season the fairway bunkering was redesigned to catch more drives. The players now need to carry the ball fully 350 yards if there to get past all the sand.