The Memorial Tournament Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau tees off on No. 10 during the first round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 4, 2021 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jared PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

It’s the Memorial Tournament week – the second to last stop before next month’s U.S. Open, and the field in central Ohio is once again stout. (If the PLAYERS is the tour’s fifth major, then the Memorial is its sixth.)

The 120-player set will include thirteen of the top-20 ranked players in the world, featuring seven of the top-10.

Contested at the acclaimed Muirfield Village Golf Club and hosted by PGA Tour legend Jack Nicklaus, the star-studded gathering in Dublin, Ohio will feature winners of the last four editions: Patrick Cantlay (2021, 2019), Jon Rahm (2020) and Bryson DeChambeau (2018).

Top-10 ranked stars looking for their first Memorial trophy include Cameron Smith (No. 3), Collin Morikawa (4), Viktor Hovland (7), Rory McIlroy (8) and Jordan Spieth (10).

Those ranked in the world top 20 include: Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris, Billy Horschel, Joaquin Niemann, Matt Fitzpatrick and Matt Fitzpatrick.

Other marquee names in Ohio this week: Abraham Ancer, Max Homa, Daniel Berger, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Shane Lowry, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland, among others.

Below, you’ll find more details to help you get primed for the 2022 edition of the Memorial Tournament.


PGA Tour At-a-Glance

Name: the Memorial Tournament
Title Sponsor: Nationwide Insurance
Tour Debut: 1976
Dates: June 3-6, 2021
Where: Dublin, Ohio
Course: Muirfield Village GC
Distance: Par 72, 7,392 yards
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Format: Stroke, 72-holes, 36-hole cut
Purse: $12,000,000
Winning Share: $2,160,000
Defending Champion: Patrick Cantlay


How to Follow the Memorial Tournament

Jack Nicklaus The Memorial Tournament
Tournament host Jack Nicklaus does a television interview during the third round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 6, 2015 in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 2-6 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GOLF), 2:30-6 p.m. (CBS)

STREAMING: Thu-Fri: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+); Sat-Sun: 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+)
Subscribe to ESPN+

PGA TOUR RADIO: Thu-Fri: 12-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1-6 p.m.
(PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)

LINKS: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


Memorial Tournament History

The Memorial Tournament Wall of Honor Sam Snead
A wall of plaques commemorates golfing greats outside the Muirfield Village Golf Club clubhouse during third-round play in The Memorial Tournament, June 5, 2004 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt via Getty Images)

As one of the most respected names in the history of the game, Jack Nicklaus’ gift to the golf world, and to a central Ohio community that embraced him, has grown into one of the most important events outside of the four majors.

The Memorial, considered one of the two best non majors on the schedule, continuously draws a very strong field, and even bigger crowds, the latter a testament to a Muirfield Village course design that made fan experience a priority.

Debuting in 1976, just two years after Muirfield Village opened, the inaugural edition of the Memorial was a brutal test as only two players, Roger Maltbie and Hale Irwin, were able to avoid an over-par score. Both finished at level-par 288 with Maltbie eventually edging Irwin on the fourth sudden-death extra hole.

The following year featured the first victory for tournament host Nicklaus, who would also win the 1984 edition.

Other notable winners have included the aforementioned Irwin, Tom Watson, Raymond Floyd, Greg Norman, Curtis Strange, Paul Azinger, Tom Lehman, Vijah Singh, Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Justin Rose, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay and Jon Rahm.

Patrick Cantlay Wins the Memorial
Patrick Cantlay poses with Jack Nicklaus and the trophy after winning The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 02, 2019 in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Woods holds the tournament record with five victories, followed by Kenny Perry who won three times. Four players, including Nicklaus and Cantlay, have claimed two Memorial titles.

One of the unique features of the tournament is a yearly induction ceremony, honoring past golfers. A plaque for each honoree is installed near the clubhouse at Muirfield; Nicklaus himself was the 2000 honoree.

Every honoree is an off the chart historical name, but some of the names include Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Sam Snead, among others.


The Course: Muirfield Village

The 18th hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 3, 2018 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Founded by Jack Nicklaus, and opened in 1974, Muirfield Village Golf Club is a par 72 track, measuring 7,392 yards for the tour pros.

Acting as the home base of the Ohio legend, the property and golf course was named after Muirfield, Scotland – where Nicklaus won the first of his three British Open titles in 1966 to complete the first of his three career grand slams.

The Nicklaus designed signature golf course has hosted the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament since its inception in 1976, with the Golden Bear, himself, acting as the tournament host.

A bronze sculpture of Nicklaus mentoring a young golfer, unveiled in 1999, is located in the wide median of Muirfield Drive.

The private pro-style layout is regularly ranked as one of the top golf courses in the state of Ohio.

The Skinny

Name: Muirfield Village Golf Club
Locale: Dublin, Ohio
Established: 1974
Type: Private
Holes: 18
Par: 36/36/72
Par 3s: 4 (4, 8, 12, 16)
Par 4s: 10 (1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, 18)
Par 5s: 4 (5, 7, 11, 15)
Length: 7,329 yards
Greens: Bentgrass/Poa annua
Fairways: Bentgrass/Poa annua
Designed by: Jack Nicklaus
Website: mvgc.org


The Field: Overview

Bryson DeChambeau Wins the Memorial
Bryson DeChambeau celebrates with his caddie after winning in a playoff against Byeong-Hun An after the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village GC on June 3, 2018 in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Headlining the event at Jack’s Place will be seven of the top-10 ranked players in the world – many of whom will tee it up for the final time before next month’s U.S. Open.

World No. 2 Jon Rahm, who won in 2020 and led in 2021 before being forced to withdraw due to COVID, is the odds-on favorite. He will be joined by a plethora of marquee names, including top-10 stars Cam Smith (No. 2), Collin Morikawa (4), two-time champion Patrick Cantlay (6), Viktor Hovland (7), Rory McIlroy (8) and Jordan Spieth (10).

Other familiar names include Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Will Zalatoris, Daniel Berger, Matt Fitzpatrick, Joaquin Niemann, Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry and Max Homa, among others.

Top-5 Betting Favorites

Bombers who can work the ball, tee to green, and stick pins should find success this week in Ohio.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm watches his drive on the 15th tee box during the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 5, 2021 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jared PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

1. Jon Rahm
The world No. 2 has been a little hit-or-miss the past few months, with a T48 (PGA) and T55 (PLAYERS) sandwiching a win (Mexico) and top 10 (WGC-Match Play)… Won here easily in 2020 and should have won even bigger again in 2021… Will be his last start before defending his U.S. Open title in Boston.

World Rank: 3rd
Odds To Win: 10-1
Last Six Starts: 48, 1, 27, 9, 55, 17
Best Memorial Finish: W (2020)

2. Rory McIlroy
The four-time major winner enters off three straight top-10 results, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the Masters… Owns four career top-10s at Muirfield, including two top-5s… This will be the first of four-straight weeks on the road for McIlroy as he’ll go to Canada to defend next week followed by the U.S. Open and Travelers.

World Rank: 3rd
Odds To Win: 11-1
Last Six Starts: 8, 5, 2, MC, 33, 13
Best Memorial Finish: 4th (2016)

3. Patrick Cantlay
The defending champion also won here in 2019… Enters in questionable form, though, with just a single top-20 finish (T2 Heritage) in his last six starts… Will look to return to his early-season form four-straight top-10s, including three top-5s.

World Rank: 6th
Odds To Win: 16-1
Last Six Starts: MC, 2, 39, 26, MC, 33
Best Memorial Finish: W (2021, 2019)

4. Collin Morikawa
The world No. 4 enters amid his worst stretch as a tour pro, with just a single top-25 finish in his last six stroke-play starts. Muirfield could be just what the doctor ordered, however, as the 25-year-old Cal Berkeley product owns a win (2020 Workday Charity Open) and runner-up (2021 Memorial) in three career starts at Jack’s Place.

World Rank: 4th
Odds To Win: 18-1
Last Six Starts: 40, 55, 26, 5, 68, MC
Best Memorial Finish: 2nd (2021)

5. Cam Smith
The 28-year-old Aussie continued his top form with a top-15 finish at Southern Hills. In the season’s three biggest events, Smith’s results are: T13 (PGA), T3 (Masters) and 1st (PLAYERS). He would be much higher if not for a remarkably poor history at Muirfield – four missed-cuts in six starts, with a T65 his best showing.

World Rank: 3rd
Odds To Win: 18-1
Last Six Starts: 13, MC, 3, 1, 33, 4
Best Memorial Finish: 65th (2017)

Full Field: Odds & World Rank

the Memorial . Muirfield Village GC . Dublin, OH, June 2-5, 2022

Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama reacts on the 18th green after making birdie on the first playoff hole against Kevin Na to win the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 1, 2014 in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR via Getty Images


Quotable

Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus focuses on his ball flight at the 1976 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England, held July 7-10, 1976. Credit: R&A Championships via Getty Images

“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie.

“First I ‘see’ where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I ‘see’ the ball going there: it’s part, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing.

“Then there is this sort of fadeout, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images to reality.”
Jack Nicklaus, founder and host of the Memorial Tournament


Up Next: RBC Canadian Open

Rory McIlroy Wins RBC Canadian Open
Rory McIlroy wears a Toronto Raptors jersey after he won the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club on June 09, 2019 in Hamilton, Canada. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The RBC Canadian Open, the final stop before the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, makes its return to the PGA Tour schedule after a two-year hiatus due to the liberal government’s restrictive COVID policies. The long-running tournament will be contested at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. Rory McIlroy will defend his 2019 title.


Credits: Joel Cook, Jeff Shain, PGA Tour Media, Getty Images


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