The Tour comes to Ohio for 41st Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.
The greater Columbus area is where Nicklaus was born, raised, learned the game of golf, went to college, and started his own family. It was his vision to create a golf club that embodied his personal and professional life and to create a golf tournament that would long represent his passion for tournament golf, and would give back to a community that has embraced him and the game. This was fulfilled in May 1976 with the first Memorial Tournament, two years to the day after the course opened at Muirfield Village. The par-72 course was set at 7,072 yards (6,467 m), a considerable length for the mid-1970s.
Nicklaus signaled his intent to host his own tournament during Masters Week in 1966, when he spoke of his desire to create a tournament that, like The Masters, had a global interest, and was inspired by the history and traditions of the game of golf. He also wanted the tournament to give back in the form of charitable contributions to organizations benefiting needy adults and children throughout Columbus and Ohio. The primary charitable beneficiary of the tournament is Nationwide Children's Hospital. (credit Wikipedia.org)
Muirfield Village is a pretty easy driving course and really stresses approach shots and short game shots around the green. Lots of greens are missed due to approach shots missing their mark and the areas around the green are very test to save par. It’s a big reason why Tiger Woods won here 4 times because the driving wasn’t overly difficult and he was the best iron player in the world with a fantastic short game.
Overall, the course is well liked by Tour players. Outside of the players that can’t crack an egg on the course (there’s always going to be those), they rave about the conditions and generally like the design.
I think it’s an interesting design statistically because it allows many different styles of play to compete. The long bomber that’s a bit wild off the tee can contend here because they can hit their drives closer to the hole to leave themselves with some easier approach shots. The precise ballstriker can win here thru superior iron play. And the shorter hitting but good short game player can win here if their iron play is pretty good, they make some putts and they make those critical saves when they miss the green.
PROJECTED WINNING SCORE: -13
Dustin Johnson +600
Jon Rahm +1,100
Jordan Spieth +1,200
Rickie Fowler +2,500
Justin Thomas +3,500
3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS
Emiliano Grillo +5,500
Marc Leishman +6,600
Kyle Stanley +8,000
Gary Woodland +9,000
Brian Stuard +30,000