Golf

Top Storylines Heading into Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament

Fred AltvaterContributor IIMay 26, 2014

Top Storylines Heading into Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament

1 of 8

    Jack Nicklaus is the host this week for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.
    Jack Nicklaus is the host this week for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The PGA Tour heads to Dublin, Ohio, for the Memorial Tournament this week.

    Jack Nicklaus designed the course and is the host for the best players in the world.

    Muirfield Village is one of the best courses the professionals play all year, and they all want to shake Jack's hand as they walk off the 72nd hole.

    Matt Kuchar won last year and will defend his title this year.

     

120 Players Are in the Field This Week at the Memorial

2 of 8

    2013 Memorial winner Matt Kuchar receives congratulations from Jack Nicklaus.
    2013 Memorial winner Matt Kuchar receives congratulations from Jack Nicklaus.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The field for the 2014 Memorial Tournament will consist of 120 of the best players in the world.

    Six members of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings are in the field, led by No. 1 Adam Scott.

    Defending Champion, Matt Kuchar (4), Bubba Watson (5), Jason Day (6), Justin Rose (8), Jordan Spieth (9) and Rory McIlroy (10) make this one of the strongest fields of any tournament on the PGA Tour.

    Seven players in the top 10 of the FedEx Cup rankings are also in the field this week.

    In addition to Kuchar and Rose, six past champions of the Memorial are in the field; K.J. Choi, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Carl Pettersson, Vijay Singh and Steve Stricker will also try to win the tournament for the second time.

     

Muirfield Village Is a True Test for the Touring Professionals

3 of 8

    The Memorial always draws large crowds in Dublin, Ohio.
    The Memorial always draws large crowds in Dublin, Ohio.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Muirfield Village was conceived and designed by Jack Nicklaus.

    He grew up in Upper Arlington, another suburb of Columbus, and walked these hills as a young man with his father.

    Nicklaus carved out a challenging golf course that annually tests the skills of the touring professionals.

    Small streams, rolling terrain and undulating greens make this one of the most scenic courses in the country.

    The course opened for play in 1974, and Roger Maltbie won the first Memorial Tournament in 1976.

     

Phil Mickelson Has Not Posted a Top-10 Finish This Year

4 of 8

    Phil Mickelson is one of the marquee names in the 2014 Memorial.
    Phil Mickelson is one of the marquee names in the 2014 Memorial.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Phil Mickelson is one of the marquee names in the 2014 Memorial Tournament.

    He is ranked No. 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking but is No. 91 in the FedEx Cup standings.

    He won twice in 2013 but has yet to post a top-10 finish this year.

    In 12 starts, he has three missed cuts and has withdrawn due to injury twice.

    He has only earned $649,000 and his best finish, a T-11, came at the Wells Fargo.

    Mickelson always brings the star power and is a fan favorite. 

Annika Sorenstam Is the 2014 Memorial Tournament Honoree

5 of 8

    Annika Sorenstam was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.
    Annika Sorenstam was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    One of the main features of the Memorial Tournament is the annual induction of an honoree.

    The honoree is normally a past golfer who found outstanding success in their career and reached the highest levels of the sport.

    Past honorees have included Bobby Jones, Walter Hagan, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Patty Berg, Babe Zaharias and Seve Ballesteros.

    Sorenstam won 10 major championships and 72 LPGA Tour events in her 16-year career.

    She retired from competitive golf in 2008 to raise a family and pursue other business interests. 

Jason Day Is a Resident of Muirfield Village

6 of 8

    Jason Day is a member at Muirfield Village.
    Jason Day is a member at Muirfield Village.Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Australian Jason Day now resides in Muirfield Village and is a member of the golf course.

    He was runner-up at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and won the WGC-Accenture Match Play in February, but he has struggled with a hand injury for most of the season.

    He is ranked No. 6 in the world and finished T-20 his last start at the Masters.

    Day is one of the most talented golfers in the world and would like to add the Memorial to his resume.

Rory McIlroy Has Not Won in the U.S. Since 2012

7 of 8

    Rory McIlroy won the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship last week.
    Rory McIlroy won the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship last week.David Cannon/Getty Images

    Rory McIlroy lost his No. 1 world ranking last year to Tiger Woods and did not play well on the PGA Tour in 2013.

    He has not won in the U.S. since the 2012 BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

    He did win the Australian Open over Adam Scott in December and just won the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship last week.

    McIlroy has one runner-up finish this season on the PGA Tour and has six top-10 finishes in eight starts.

    He is a very streaky player. Muirfield Village could be the site of his next PGA Tour victory.

Adam Scott Is No. 1 in the World

8 of 8

    Adam Scott strengthened his grip on No. 1 with a win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
    Adam Scott strengthened his grip on No. 1 with a win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.Wong Maye-E/Associated Press

    Adam Scott ascended to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking without hitting a shot last Monday, but proved he is worthy of the lofty status by winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational this week at Colonial.

    He had to survive a playoff with 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner but prevailed with his second birdie in three playoff holes.

    Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters in 2013, added a win at The Barclays and won two more in Australia last year. 

    He is the top-ranked player in the field this week at the Memorial and should be among the leaders on Sunday evening when host Jack Nicklaus hands out the big check.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices