The Memorial Tournament Preview
Memorial Tournament Preview
Dates: May 29-June 4, 2017
Where: Dublin, Ohio
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club
36-36—par 72/7,366 yards
Field size: 120
2015 champion: William McGirt
Purse: $8,700,000 ($1,566,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
2017 The Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide
- The Tournament, founded and hosted by golf’s greatest champion, Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and numerous other local organizations.
How William McGirt won the Memorial Tournament in 2016
- William McGirt began the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide tied for the 14-under lead with Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland, before his final-round 1-under 71 resulted in sudden death with Jon Curran.
- On the second extra hole, No. 18, par was good for his first career PGA TOUR win in his 165th start at the age of 36 years, 11 months, 15 days. It was McGirt’s first playoff on the PGA TOUR.
Final 2016 Leaderboard
1 William McGirt 70-68-64-71—273 (-15) won on second hole of sudden death
2 Jon Curran 68-67-68-70—273 (-15)
3 Dustin Johnson 64-71-68-71—274 (-14)
More on William McGirt
- McGirt’s victory came in his fourth start in the Memorial Tournament; 1st/2016, T40/2015, MC/2014 and T37/2013.
- McGirt is seeking to become the first player since Tiger Woods, who won three consecutive Memorial Tournament titles in 1999, 2000 and 2001, to successfully defend at Muirfield Village.
- With his win, McGirt joined three of the last seven winners, David Lingmerth (2015), Hideki Matsuyama (2014), and Justin Rose (2010), who made the Memorial Tournament their maiden victory on the PGA TOUR. Before Rose, Tom Lehman (1994) was the last player to make the Memorial Tournament his first PGA TOUR victory. Kenny Perry (1991) and Keith Fergus (1981) are the other players on this list.
- McGirt was the first American-born winner of the Memorial Tournament since Matt Kuchar in 2013. Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) won in 2014 and David Lingmerth (Sweden) won in 2015.
- McGirt advanced to last year’s TOUR Championship for the first time in his career, posting a T17 at East Lake to finish a career-high No. 24 in the FedExCup.
- Best result this season is T3 at RBC Heritage with four sub-70 rounds.
- After qualifying for the Masters Tournament with his win at the Memorial Tournament, McGirt shot 69 in the opening round at Augusta National this year to sit second, four back of Charley Hoffman, before eventually finishing T22.
- Currently No. 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
FedExCup and the Memorial Tournament
- The 2016-17 season marks the 11th year of the FedExCup, the season-long points competition highlighted by four FedExCup Playoff events, with the FedExCup champion being crowned at the completion of the TOURChampionship. Some FedExCup notes regarding the Memorial Tournament:
- Five FedExCup champions are in the field: Jordan Spieth (2015), Billy Horschel (2014), Bill Haas (2011), Jim Furyk (2010) and Vijay Singh (2008).
- Nine of the 10 winners of the Memorial Tournament since the inception of the FedExCup in 2007 have qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship. William McGirt advanced to last year’s TOUR Championship for the first time in his career, posting a T17 at East Lake to finish a career-high No. 24 in the FedExCup.
- 10 of the top 10 and 23 of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings are in the field, highlighted by Dustin Johnson who is No. 1.
- Made nine consecutive starts at the Memorial Tournament. His third-place finish last year marked his second top-10 at Muirfield Village Golf Club (4th/2011). His only missed cut came in 2013.
- Posted 10 birdies in opening-round 64 to lead the Memorial Tournament after round one last year, eventually finishing third.\
- Ranks No. 1 in the current FedExCup standings and No. 1 in Official World Golf Ranking
- With three wins this season (Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play), has won for the 10th consecutive season on TOUR (the current-best streak).
- Awarded the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as Player of the Year for the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season.
- Returns to the Memorial Tournament for a fifth appearance. Spieth’s best finish at the event was T3 in 2016.
- His four opening rounds at the Memorial Tournament have been par or better (72-69-68-70).
- Youngest winner of the FedExCup and of the TOUR Championship (22 years, 2 months).
- Owns nine PGA TOUR wins: 2013 John Deere Classic, 2015 Valspar Championship, 2015 Masters Tournament, 2015 U.S. Open, 2015 John Deere Classic, 2015 TOUR Championship, 2016 SBS Tournament of Champions, 2016 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
- Finished runner-up at last week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.
- In 2013, earned a Captain’s Pick from Fred Couples for the U.S. Team for the Presidents Cup played at Muirfield Village where he went 2-2-0. Was also voted Rookie of the Year in 2013.
- Awarded the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as Player of the Year for the 2014-15 PGA TOUR Season.
- Has made five cuts in eight starts at the Memorial Tournament with T27 last year matching his best finish in 2009. Sat three strokes off the lead after 54 holes last year before final-round 74 contributed to T27, six strokes back.
- Defeated Brandt Snedeker 6 and 4 in Sunday singles match during 2013 Presidents Cup held at
- Columbus resident and member at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
- No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking
- Earned sixth top-10 finish in 11 starts at the Memorial Tournament with T4 last year after sharing 36-and 54-hole leads – 2008 (T10), 2009 (T5), 2010 (T8), 2011 (T2), 2013 (won) and 2016 (T4).
- Lone missed cut in 11 appearances came in 2003.
- Third-round scoring average at the Memorial Tournament is 69.40 with 10 of 10 rounds under par.
- Best result this season is T4 at the Masters Tournament.
- Posted a runner-up finish in his first start in the Memorial Tournament when he held at least a share of the lead in each of the first three rounds in 2010. Shot final-round 73 to finish three back of Justin Rose.
- In seven starts in the memorial Tournament, has not posted a top-20 finish since runner-up in 2010.
- Missed cut in last three appearances at Muirfield Village.
- Got back in the winner’s circle this season with victory at The Honda Classic, his fourth on the PGA TOUR.
- In 16 Memorial Tournament starts, has collected top-10 finishes in 2002 (T9), 2006 (T4) and 2010 (T5).
- Seeking to become the first left-handed player to win the Memorial Tournament. Mike Weir’s T2 in 2008 is the best finish by a left-hander.
- Adam Scott is making his 10th start of the season; a T6 at THE PLAYERS in his most recent start was his third top-10 of the season (CIMB Classic – T10, Masters – T9).
- Scott has three top-five finishes in nine appearances at the Memorial Tournament, including a T4 in his most recent start at Muirfield Village in 2014 (T4/2014, T5/2007, T4/2006).
- Scott has missed one cut in his last 28 official PGA TOUR starts (2017 Shell Houston Open).
- Thomas is a four-time TOUR winner, including three wins this season (CIMB Classic, SBS Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii). Thomas shot 59 (-11) in the opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to become the seventh player with a sub-60 round on TOUR.
- Thomas sits No. 3 in the FedExCup standings, trailing leader Dustin Johnson by 415 points and just 10 points behind No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama.
- Thomas was T37 in his debut at the Memorial in 2014 but has missed the cut the last two years.
- Won the Memorial Tournament in his first appearance in 2014 and returned in 2015 to finish T5. Missed the cut last year.
- First player from Japan to win the Memorial Tournament.
- Has shot under-par in eight of 10 rounds at Muirfield Village (70-67-69-69-64-71-71-70-74-73) for a 69.8 scoring average.
- Currently No. 2 in the FedExCup standings behind Dustin Johnson.
- Won last week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational for his second PGA TOUR victory (2015 The RSM Classic), moving from No. 17 to No. 7 on the FedExCup standings.
- Holed a pitch for eagle on the 72nd hole in the dark to force playoff, which took place on Monday, at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last month. With teammate Scott Brown, lost at the fourth hole of sudden death to Cameron Smith/Jonas Blixt.
- Was also runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
- Missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament last year but was T8 in 2015 with four sub-par rounds.
- Posted a T46 in his first appearance in 2014.
- First-year member Jon Rahm, 22, will make his tournament debut.
- Currently No. 4 in the FedExCup and No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Rahm won his maiden PGA TOUR victory at the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open. He then went on to finish in the top-five in three of his next four events, including a runner-up at the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play, where he lost to Dustin Johnson in the final.
- Rahm was runner-up at last week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, one stroke behind winner Kevin Kisner.
- Rahm was the Jack Nicklaus Award recipient last year. The award, created in 1988, is given annually to the national players-of-the-year at each level of collegiate golf. Winners of the Nicklaus Award include Tiger Woods (1996), Phil Mickelson (1990-92), David Duval (1993), Justin Leonard (1994), Stewart Cink (1995), Luke Donald (1999), Hunter Mahan (2003), Bill Haas (2004), Ryan Moore (2005), Justin Thomas (2012) and Jon Rahm (2016) among many others.
Additional Player Notes
- Peter Uihlein will make his first appearance at the Memorial Tournament. The 27-year-old won the U.S. Amateur while attending Oklahoma State University. Earlier this year he finished T5 at the Puerto Rico Open, one of 25 career PGA TOUR starts. Uihlein, a European Tour member, was voted as European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2013.
- Scott Gregory, 22, is an Englishman who won the 2016 Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl. His Amateur Championship win earned him a spot in The Open last year, as well as this year’s Masters, missing the cut in both events. Gregory also represented England in the most recent World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico, helping his country finish second behind Australia.
- Stewart Cink (52) will this week attempt to catch Kenny Perry, who has 55 rounds of par or better at the Memorial Tournament. The record remains with Jay Haas, who owns 68 rounds of par or better at this event.
- Vijay Singh, the 1997 Memorial Tournament winner, will make his 25th appearance at the Memorial Tournament, tied for fourth-most with Fuzzy Zoeller. The three players with more starts are Jack Nicklaus (30), Jay Haas (29), Roger Maltbie (27). Singh comes into the Memorial Tournament off a runner-up finish at the Senior PGA Championship last week
- With the Memorial Tournament host Jack Nicklaus a six-time Australian Open winner, and Australian icon Greg Norman as the 2017 Memorial Tournament Honoree, four young Australian players are set to compete as sponsor exemptions in the Memorial Tournament:
- Matthew Griffin, 33, was the No. 3 ranked amateur in the world in 2008 and represented his country at the Eisenhower Trophy before turning professional. He has won three times on the PGA TOUR of Australasia, claiming the Order of Merit title in 2016. He is also a winner of the OneAsia Order of Merit (2013) and a two-time winner on that Tour. In 2014, he won the KPGA Championship on the Korean Tour. He plays golf right-handed but writes left-handed. He made his lone PGA TOUR start at the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this year, finishing 75th .
- Brett Coletta, 20, had a stellar amateur career before making his PGA TOUR debut at the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The 2015 U.S. Amateur medalist and runner-up to fellow Aussie Curtis Luck at last year’s Asia Pacific Amateur, made his first start as a professional at the 2017 SMBC Singapore Open, finishing T65 with rounds of 69-72-74-75. As an amateur he won the Queensland Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia last October.
- Curtis Luck, 20, made his professional debut at the Valero Texas Open, his most recent start on TOUR. Luck came into prominence in his homeland as the runner-up at the 2014 Australian Amateur. He also won the 2016 Western Australian Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia. He had previously planned to turn professional in October 2016, but when he won the 2016 U.S. Amateur in August and the Asia-Pacific Amateur in October he decided to wait and accept the invitation he received this year to the Masters. He was a member of the winning Australian team at the 2016 Eisenhower Trophy and was also awarded the Emerging Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Australian Institute of Sport Performance Awards. Luck, formerly No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, is recognizable as he sports a beard and ponytail. He made his PGA TOUR debut in March this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he was disqualified after signing an incorrect scorecard in the second round. He finished T46 at the Masters in his final start as an amateur.
- Ryan Ruffels, 19, was born in the United States, but moved to Australia after his dad, tennis professional Ray Ruffels, received a job offer there. Ryan had a notable amateur career in Australia which included becoming the youngest person in the PGA Tour of Australasia’s history to make the cut in one of their tour events, achieved at the 2013 Queensland Open. Ryan made his first professional PGA TOUR start at the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open where he finished T43. He has made seven cuts in 10 starts as a professional on the PGA TOUR with a T20 at the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans his best result. He also made the cut as an amateur at the 2015 RBC Canadian Open. Last year, he made his PGA TOUR Latinoamérica debut at the Copa Diners Club International in Ecuador, where he carded a week low 7 under 64 on the final round to finish in a two-way tie for second in September. He posted three other top 10s in five other starts in Latin America to finish the season ranked 22nd on the Order of Merit. Ruffels is fluent in both Spanish and English. Ruffels posted a T38 result in his first appearance at the Memorial Tournament last year.
Memorial Tournament Preview Notes on the field
- Six of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking: Dustin Johnson (No. 1), Jason Day (No. 3), Hideki Matsuyama (No. 4), Jordan Spieth (No. 6), Jon Rahm (No. 9), Adam Scott (No. 10) and 31 of the top 50.
- 17 major championship winners with a combined total of 29 major titles, led by Phil Mickelson with five.
- Six past winners of the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as PGA TOUR Player of the Year: Dustin Johnson (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), Luke Donald (2011), Jim Furyk (2010), Padraig Harrington (2008), Vijay Singh (2004).
- 21 PGA TOUR winners this season: Brendan Steele (Safeway Open), Justin Thomas (CIMB Classic, SBS Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii), Hideki Matsuyama (WGC-HSBC Champions, Waste Management Phoenix Open), Rod Pampling (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), Pat Perez (OHL Classic at Mayakoba), Mackenzie Hughes (The RSM Classic), Hudson Swafford (CareerBuilder Challenge), Jon Rahm (Farmers Insurance Open), Jordan Spieth (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), Dustin Johnson (Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play), Rickie Fowler (The Honda Classic), Adam Hadwin (Valspar Championship), Marc Leishman (Arnold Palmer Invitational), D.A. Points (Puerto Rico Open), Kevin Chappell (Valero Texas Open), Cameron Smith/Jonas Blixt (Zurich Classic of New Orleans), Brian Harman (Wells Fargo Championship), Si Woo Kim (THE PLAYERS), Billy Horschel (AT&T Byron Nelson), Kevin Kisner (DEAN & DELUCA Invitational).
- Nine past champions of the Memorial Tournament: William McGirt (2016), David Lingmerth (2015), Hideki Matsuyama (2014), Matt Kuchar (2013), Steve Stricker (2011), K.J. Choi (2007), Carl Pettersson (2006), Jim Furyk (2002) and Vijay Singh (1997).
Greg Norman, Tony Lema, Ken Venturi and Harvie Wood Honored At 2017 Memorial Tournament
- Norman won 20 times on the PGA TOUR, 91 times worldwide and remained atop the Official World Golf Rankings for an astounding 331 consecutive weeks.
- Tony Lema, Ken Venturi and Harvie Wood will be honored posthumously.
- The 2017 Memorial Golf Journalism Award, created to honor and pay tribute to golf journalists, will go to Jerry Tarde, the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Golf Digest.
Muirfield Village Golf Club
- Muirfield Village Golf Club is one of four Jack Nicklaus designs on TOUR in 2015-16 (five, if Nicklaus’ redesign of PGA National Resort & Spa/The Honda Classic is included). Other Nicklaus courses to host events on TOUR this season include the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West/CareerBuilder Challenge, Montreux G&CC/Barracuda Championship and Glen Abbey GC/RBC Canadian Open.
- Muirfield Village Golf Club was named after Muirfield, Scotland, where Jack Nicklaus won the first of his three Open Championship titles in 1966. Along with hosting the Memorial Tournament every year since its inception in 1976, Muirfield Village has also hosted several national championships and international team competitions, including the 1986 U.S. Junior Amateur, the 1987 Ryder Cup, the 1992 U.S. Amateur, the 1998 Solheim Cup and the 2013 Presidents Cup. Muirfield Village is the only venue to have hosted the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and the Presidents Cup.
Miscellaneous Memorial Tournament Preview Notes
- Since 2005, the Memorial Tournament has been decided by two strokes or less each year, except for 2010 when Justin Rose earned a three-stroke win over Rickie Fowler.
- There have been seven playoffs for the title in the 40-year history of the event, including the inaugural tournament in 1976 when Roger Maltbie won. Other playoffs occurred in 1984, 1991 and 1992, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
- In the 40-year history of the Memorial Tournament, nine international players have won the event (David Lingmerth/Sweden/2015, Hideki Matsuyama/Japan/2014, Justin Rose/England/2010, K.J. Choi/South Korea/2007, Carl Pettersson/Sweden/2006, Ernie Els/South Africa/2004, Vijay Singh/Fiji/1997, Greg Norman/Australia/1995/1990, David Graham/Australia/1980).
- Six players have multiple wins at the Memorial Tournament; 5/Tiger Woods (1999-2001, 2009, 2012), 3/Kenny Perry (1991, 2003, 2008), 2/Jack Nicklaus (1977, 1984), 2/Hale Irwin (1983, 1985), 2/Greg Norman (1990, 1995), 2/Tom Watson (1979, 1996).
- No player has ever taken less than 100 putts at the Memorial Tournament, however, four players have used exactly 100 putts: Spencer Levin (2012), Joe Ogilvie (2008), John Mallinger (2008) and Ernie Els (2004).
- Since 1983 when records began, three players have scored an ace during the tournament and gone on to win, most recently Steve Stricker in 2011. Jim Furyk (2002) and Kenny Perry (1991) are the other players to achieve this feat.
- Rod Pampling was the last player to make an ace at the Memorial Tournament, holing his tee shot at the par-3 16th hole in the final round last year.
- There has never been a wire-to-wire winner at the Memorial Tournament.
- Last year’s 36-hole cut of 142 (-2) is the lowest in tournament history.
- John Huston holds the 18-hole tournament record 11-under 61, posted in round one in 1996. Tom Lehman owns the 72-hole tournament record of 268 (-20), set in 1994.In 162 competitive rounds at Muirfield Village Golf Club, the scoring average has been below 71 only 12 times.
- During last year’s opening round, Hudson Swafford posted five birdies, one eagle and no bogeys to shoot a 7-under 29 on the front nine, tying the low front-nine scoring record at the Memorial Tournament: John Huston (1996/R2), Mark Wilson (2007/R3), Aaron Baddeley (2014/R1) and Hudson Swafford (2016/R1).
- No player has recorded a sub-30 back nine at Muirfield Village since Bobby Wadkins shot 29 in 1977.
- Jon Rahm was the Jack Nicklaus Award recipient last year. The award, created in 1988, is given annually to the national players-of-the-year at each level of collegiate golf. This year’s winner will be announced on June 1. In addition to receiving the Jack Nicklaus National Player-of-the-Year Award, the five recipients representing all divisions of college golf will compete in the Barbasol Shootout for an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Barbasol Championship, held July 20-23, at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National in Opelika, Alabama. The Barbasol Shootout will be held Saturday, June 3 at the storied Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio -the same club where Jack Nicklaus first learned the game of golf.
VIA PGA TOUR