(CBS Pittsburgh)- The Memorial tournament moved to July during last year’s COVID-converted season. The Jack Nicklaus event returns in early June this year, halfway between the PGA Championship and the US Open. However, the generally fortified field will see the once-familiar course for the first time since major renovations at Muirfield Village Golf Club. No one has any idea how this will play out for the best of the PGA Tour.
According to CBS Sports golf anchor Jim Nantz, “The Memorial Tournament is always one of the greatest fields in golf, and it’s played at Muirfield Village, one of the best facilities in the world. So either way you rock it , the story is about the chase for the championship, featuring many of the biggest and most decorated names in the game. This is Jack Nicklaus’s tournament. Jack is the greatest champion ever, with 18 majors. This course is his showcase The property is there. It’s his masterpiece. He’s very proud of it, he should be, because it’s one of the best golf courses in the world. Having said that, when we were here last summer, when leaders in Muirfield Village Playing the last nine, we actually cut a shot from one of the greens tearing the sixth green. The game was already done. They thought it was time to tear up the course and make it in time for the 2021 Memorial Tournament. They don’t have a minute to recreate.”
While the tournament dates back to 1976, the course was opened a few years back. Muirfield Village is the brainchild of golfer Jack Nicklaus, who wanted to bring Augusta-caliber golf to Central Ohio. Their refinement over the years has cemented Muirfield’s reputation as one of the world’s finest strategic designs. Nicklaus has managed the development of the golf course to suit the changing styles of current players.
In the last year, the course has been completely redesigned, from tees to fairways to bunkers to greens. Many of the tees were relocated, and many fairways were reshaped or reshaped. A lot of bunkers have been added or removed, or simply adjusted. and greens are completely different, some of them were gone and all of them were rebuilt. The fourth and 15th holes — the 210-yard par-3 and 561-yard par-5 — can be changed most dramatically. the course will play as a Para-72, Measures 7,543 Yards.
“It’s Jack’s personal song for Augusta National,” as Nantz puts it. “He wanted to build his Augusta National. When he bought this property back in the mid-60s and started building on it, he wanted Augusta to do the same for Bob Jones. And he’s done He has pulled off one of the biggest events in the world. And you have here a history of extreme pedigree champions who speak to him, most recently Jon Rahm last summer, one of the top five players in the world. That’s what the place produces, it produces great champions on a great stage.”
The next great champion will probably come from the best field the Tour will see outside of a major. Seven of the world’s top 10 players will challenge Muirfield Village this week. These included second-placed Justin Thomas, coming out of a disappointing tie for 40th in the Charles Schwab Challenge, and third-placed Jon Rahm, who is the defending champion. Rounding out the top five, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schöffel will also tease it.
Memorial favorites can be found even further down the rankings. These include Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, two players whose game is coming back in form. “The field, as always, is full of almost every big name in the game,” Nantz says. “Whether it is Jordan Spieth, whose resurgence in 2021 is one of the biggest stories of the year in golf, or whether it is Rory McIlroy, who came out of a much smaller mini-win drought. [Wells Fargo Championship] Heading to Quail Hollow in Charlotte a month ago.
Spieth could win again Charles Schwab His game was not bad on Sunday. The former number one player went one stroke ahead of eventual winner Jason Kokrak and five strokes off the field on the final day. After shooting a 3-over par 73, he finished the first day by two strokes. It was a disappointing end to an event where he scored 63-66-66 to give himself the lead. But Down Day doesn’t detract from another strong performance for the hottest player in the game. Spieth has achieved eight top-10 finishes in 12 events this year. And that includes winning at the Valero Texas Open in early April.
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McIlroy also once held the top ranking, and much more recently than Spieth. He is also experiencing a return to form, though he hasn’t come down nearly as much in the rankings. McIlroy won Wells Fargo in early May and previously made the top 10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Mexico Championships.
are here the favorite:
Jon Rahm (10-1)
Rahm won the Memorial last year with a score of 279, one of the highest winning scores in decades. (Of course, this time the track will play very differently.) He’s played well since that win. The past year has included three top-10 finishes at the Major and many more in regular Tour events. Rahm is one of the Tour’s best at taking strokes from tee to green.
Rory McIlroy (14-1)
McIlroy, ranked eighth in the world, has scored four top-10 spots at Memorial in his nine appearances. The latest came in 2018, when he finished eighth. McIlroy remains one of the best players on the Tour, where he is sixth in strokes achieved.
Jordan Spieth (14-1)
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Spieth has changed his game and should be considered among the favorites to enter every event. The world number 23 has jumped nearly 60 places since the start of the year. Their last win came two months ago, although they almost had another win last week. Spieth’s best performance at Muirfield was third in 2015, though he also finished seventh in 2019.
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