Tournament: The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, June 2-5
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club, 7,392 yards, par 72
Defending Champion: David Lingmerth. He outlasted Justin Rose in a playoff last year. A solid player, but he doesn’t make splashy headlines. No matter, as a win on this course is testament that you got game.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, noon-2 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (CBS).
Fun Fact: The tournament annually “honors” individuals for their contributions to golf. This year one of the honorees is Johnny Miller. And it dang sure ain’t for his commentary. I’m sure it’s more related to his 25 PGA Tour wins, and it's a chance for Miller to once again regale everyone with his version of the 1973 US Open.
Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Seven): Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Kevin Kisner, Hudson Swafford, Brendon Todd, and Bubba Watson.
UGA has been well-represented in the game of golf lately. The Georgia Bulldogs Women’s Team finished 18th in the NCAA Championships (which is really a disappointment, but still..), and Bailey Tardy was named a first team All-American, while Harang Lee was named second team, and Jillian Hollis received honorable mention.
The Men’s team just finished their NCAA run Sunday, with the team finishing in a 5 way tie for 14th (and a cruel tiebreaker closed their season). Senior Lee McCoy remained alive and ended up 6th in the individual NCAA Champion competition. More to come on McCoy, but we now turn out attention to those who play for money legally…
Last week’s Ben Hogan tournament saw Harris English tie for the lead Sunday, before being passed by a conspiratorially lucky Jordan Spieth. Okay, no conspiracy, but his putt on 16, the incredibly lucky chip in on 17 and the bomb on 18 do make one question destiny. English finished solo second, and 4 of the 5 other Bulldogs made the cut (which is a rarity this season). Kisner tied for 10th, Kirk tied for 15th, Harman tied for 25th, and Swafford tied for 47th. Five in the top 50 is more what we’re expecting, so maybe that bodes well for this week.
This week’s Memorial is literally played at the course that Jack built. Jack Nicklaus, holder of 18 major championships and roughly 60 other PGA Tour titles, spent 10 years acquiring land and designing the course, and it is usually ranked in the top 20 or so best courses in the US. Though relatively young, the course holds up well against the older classic courses, and I personally have this in or about my own top 10. A couple of creeks meander through the property and are utilized well. The only drawback is that it’s located just outside THE Columbus, Ohio.
Being that Jack Nicklaus is the host, today’s players are drawn to this tournament like Steve Spurrier to a 5 for $5 special at Arby’s. For the first time in a while, all of the world’s top 5 players will compete together, including our own Bubba Watson (#5). Interestingly enough, the world’s top 3 players are coming off a win at their last tournament: #1 Jason Day at The Player’s Championship, #2 Jordan Spieth at last week’s Dean & Deluca, and #3 Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open. So the field is crème de la crème, the course is extremely good, and it should be the usual tight finish Sunday.
If you have questions on our ‘Dawgs or anything else to do with golf, why Mick Taylor left the Stones, or why Jordan Spieth is the luckiest golfer alive, just drop a comment below. Until then, tune in and…