We will first take a quick peek at the results from last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial:
Kevin Kisner shot 73-74 to miss the cut by 6. I’ve heard he went through an equipment change, and I’m hoping he’s going to get the new clubs to behave.
Greyson Sigg shot 74-72 to miss by 5. Chris Kirk came in at 72-73 and missed the cut by 4.
Erik Compton snuck into the field (let me know in the comments if you don’t know his incredible story) and made the cut by a couple. An unfortunate 78 Saturday dropped him down the list, but a closing 69 gave him a tie for 63rd. $18,750.
Brendon Todd was hanging around after shooting 69-71-71, then a 74 Sunday put him in the T57 slot and a check for $19,662.
Speaking of hanging around, lefty Brian Harman was actually on the 2nd page of the leaderboard on the weekend before he also shot a Sunday 74. He went from top 10 to T29 ($50,104) and lost out on around $125k.
Sepp was Steady Straka, recording rounds of 69-71-70-70... even par. He tied with Harman for 29th and the same $50,104.
Russell Henley seems to be warming up. A 2 under par total (68-71-69-70) was good for T16 and $132,675.
Harris English aced the par 3 eighth hole Friday en route to a 66, which also put him in 2nd place starting the weekend. He got stuck in neutral Saturday, but his 70 kept him in 3rd place and with a shot to win on Sunday. Instead, his luck ran out and he lit some cash on fire - a final round 76 dropped him 9 spots to T12 and $178,350. That 3rd place was worth over $500k.
So 6 ‘Dawgs making the cut, and 4 in the top 30. Not a bad haul. The better news is that there’s another cash grab this week, albeit at a fairly prestigious event.
Tournament: The Memorial Tournament, June 1-4, 2023.
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club, par 72, 7,533 yards. Located in Dublin, OH.
Purse: $20 million, $3.6 million to the winner. 65th place, which will be last for those making the cut, will get $43,000.
Defending Champ: Billy Horshel. The Florida Gator burst out of the pack with a 3rd round 65, and held serve to a 4 stroke victory over Oregon Duck Aaron Wise. I used to not care much for Billy Ho because a) he’s a Gator b) he did the chomp thing on the 18th green at East Lake (in fairness, it was because the crowd was literally barking at him), and c) he talks weird, I don’t like is swing, and his putting setup makes me wince. But he supported his wife heroically through a battle with addiction, and has been vocal in his support of both the PGA Tour and playing for the US in team competitions. I’m warming up to him.
Fun Fact: The course is pristine and held in extremely high regard, the tournament host is the G.O.A.T., there’s $20 million in purse money. For all those reasons, you ask the Tour pros their favorite thing about this week and they say “the milkshakes.” Color me intrigued.
TV Times: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Plus tons of featured coverage on ESPN+.
‘Dawgs in the Field: 10. Davis Thompson, Keith Mitchell, Harris English, Brendon Todd, Russell Henley, Kevin Kisner, Brian Harman, Sepp Straka, Chris Kirk. Only Greyson Sigg seems to be absent.
It’s another tough track, as designer (and owner) Jack Nicklaus likes to challenge the young whippersnappers of today’s bomber/gougers. The rough will be plenty thick, the greens plenty fast, and trouble awaits at almost every turn. It isn’t US Open penal, it’s also not that far from it. The winning score will be somewhere around 10 under par.
The Memorial is a mainstay on the PGA Tour, thanks to the revere Nicklaus is held in and the fact he is extremely serious about putting on a great tournament. And Muirfield tends to spotlight the best players... rarely is there a 1-hit wonder emerging. By my count, 60% of the winners are also major champions. In fact, the dominant players of the era do well here: Nicklaus won 3 times, Tom Watson twice, Greg Norman twice, and Tiger 5 times.
And in case you didn’t hear, a meteor golf match was held Wednesday (5/31). Florida and Georgia Tech both advanced through match play to square off for the NCAA Men’s Golf championship. Unfortunately, the meteor did not materialize. You can google the results, I’ve got to go wash the bad taste out of my typing fingers. But as always...