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The Memorial Tournament Preview

Fans have been handled to a double dose of Muirfield Village Golf Club final yr however we’ll must accept one occasion this yr.

The golfers will see a freshly renovated course after they step on-site this week. More about that within the subsequent part under.

As an invitational occasion, the sphere is restricted, with simply 120 golfers pegging it this week. That means a comparatively excessive proportion of golfers will make it by means of the minimize line which is the usual high 65 and ties.

The Course

Muirfield Village Golf Club is a Jack Nicklaus design that opened within the Seventies and is a par 72 that may stretch out to 7,543 yards. That is 87 yards longer than the cardboard yardage from final yr’s version.

The improve in size is a byproduct of the 2020 course renovation which occurred shortly after the 2020 Memorial.

The renovation was vital as most greens have been utterly recontoured and greenside bunkers have been modified within the course of. Only 4 of the greens will resemble the previous greens (12, 13, 14, and 17). Greens additionally acquired updates to the grass (bentgrass), irrigation, and Precision Air techniques.

With all that being stated, course historical past is probably not as helpful this week, however the core of the course remains to be intact. The course is thought for having beneficiant touchdown areas off the tee, but in addition being restrictive by way of forcing you to membership down and take less-than-driver. It turns into a second-shot course in that regard with method and around-the-green play being essential most weeks at Muirfield Village.

Historically, the golf green bunkers have been very powerful at Jack’s Place and there’s water in play on half the holes. Known for hitting the excessive fade, many golfers have said that ball flight works effectively right here (and most different Nicklaus designs).

On method, golfers see very small targets and they’re targets you do not wish to miss as a result of the greens are a number of the quickest they play all yr. If you short-side your self with the method then you will have a really powerful time attempting to scramble as a result of the greens roll out and your three-foot par savers immediately flip into six-foot makes an attempt.

Overall, this can be a course that may play at a significant championship stage by way of toughness, underneath the appropriate circumstances, however the climate is all the time a priority within the Dublin, Ohio space. Kuchar had this to say on the occasion again in 2016, “I always have a base layer and a ski cap coming here and make sure my rain gear is packed and ready to arrive and play.”

We ought to control the forecast and likewise control the pre-tournament press conferences to get a superb really feel for a way the adjustments to the course will impression the general scoring setting.

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Course Quotes

Sifting by means of some previous quotes, let’s attempt to break down the course to see the way it will play.

Adam Scott: “I like the fact it’s fairly generous off the tees here. That’s nice for me. I don’t hit the most fairways on the PGA Tour, so I get a little bit more room. There is a premium hitting into the greens then, and that is one of my strong suits. So when you’re on and you can put it in under the hole, and that’s important, because the greens are so fast.”

Patrick Cantlay: “The golf course is really big, but the greens actually aren’t. They’re some of the smallest ones we play, and then also like for example on the 12th hole, it’s really like two greens. You’ve got the back right green and the front left green and it’s such a small area that the mistakes are magnified, and then you get in a wind like today and it’s even more magnified because if you’re not extremely precise, you can miss the green in a heartbeat.”

Jordan Spieth: “As different as it looks, it plays pretty similar to Augusta. It’s a second shot golf course where it’s not the toughest off the tee, but playing to certain sides of the fairways have big advantages on angles to the pins. It’s tough to get the ball below the hole. Same as Augusta, unless you’re in the right spot where you’re attacking, and take your medicine if you’re not. “

Jamie Lovemark: “You have to be conservative off the tee. The fairways are pretty wide. But the greens are so fast and slippery that if you short side yourself you have no chance. 25-footer is not bad, though.”

Jason Day: “It’s awkward because it’s a second shot golf course. The greens are quick. If you get yourself out of position on the golf course then you struggle to make par. And you have to hit a lot of fairways here.

And to me you have a lot of 3-woods in your hands. In the past I haven’t typically liked my 3-wood as much as the rest of my clubs. That’s why I hit driver or 2-iron. You get more drivers in your hands, you miss a few more fairways. The rough is up at least three inches, so you can’t get anything going.”

Correlated Courses

Looking at grass sorts, geography, course attributes, and previous efficiency, listed below are just a few programs/occasions that I feel might show to be a superb pointer this week:

TPC River Highlands
Augusta National
Bay Hill Club & Lodge
PGA National
TPC Scottsdale

The theme this week is second-shot programs or programs with quick greens.

The Weather

Thursday: Light Rain with a excessive of 76 levels. Winds 8 to 12 MPH.

Friday: Sunny with an opportunity of rain and a excessive of 79 levels. Winds calm at 6 to 9 MPH.

It appears like there will probably be loads of rain within the lead-up to the occasion and probably Thursday as effectively. The menace lowers from there and it must be good climate to complete issues up this week.

Golfers to Watch

Jordan Spieth
It was one other shut name for Spieth final week who now has high 15s in 8 of his final 10 stroke-play occasions. Now he heads to Muirfield Village, a course the place he is grabbed high 15s in three of his final 4 visits. He ought to proceed to be a well-liked click on for weekly players.

Jon Rahm
The Spaniard is the defending champ this week. He missed the minimize in his 2017 event debut and final yr was simply his second try at tackling the course. Rahm has did not put himself in competition these days however he did backdoor high 10s on the Masters and the PGA Championship, gaining 6.6 strokes in spherical 4 of the Masters and 4.7 strokes in spherical 4 of the PGA Championship. Overall, he is gained strokes over the sphere common in 13 of 14 rounds performed since changing into a brand new dad.

Bryson DeChambeau
He’s a previous champ at Muirfield Village (2018) however has completed exterior of the highest 20 in every of his three different makes an attempt. That features a wild missed minimize final yr when he swallowed a ’10’ on the par-5 fifteenth to drop from 1-over to 6-over with solely three holes to play. Had he simply carded a par there, he would have entered the weekend in a share of thirty first place. Will that vast quantity hang-out him this week when he returns to the scene of the crime this week or will he get revenge?

Viktor Hovland
He received two appears at Muirfield Village final yr, ending third through the straightforward course setup (Workday Charity Open) however settled for forty eighth the following week when the tough was grown up and the greens have been speedy. Now, the course has acquired an overhaul so he’ll get to be taught a brand new course for a 3rd time in as many occasions performed at Jack’s Place. The younger Norwegian enters the week with T3 finishes in two of his final three begins and a T30 on the PGA Championship. He’s gained 10.9 strokes on method in these three begins so his placing is stable in the meanwhile.

Collin Morikawa
The teenager not often tries to hit a draw, leaning on the shot form that works greatest for him. Perhaps it is no shock then, that three of his 4 PGA TOUR titles have come on Nicklaus designs. That features a win at this week’s course when it hosted the Workday Charity Open final yr.

Rickie Fowler
Some say type is short-term however class is everlasting. We’ve seen that come true these days when Jordan Spieth returning to his spot atop the golf world. Could Fowler be subsequent? He hinted at a return to type when he posted a T17 on the Valero Texas Open earlier than lacking the following two cuts. Then he tossed collectively a T8 on the PGA Championship in his most up-to-date begin. Will he construct on the momentum this time? His total monitor report at Jack’s Place is increase or bust, particularly these days the place he is traded three high 15s with 4 missed cuts in his final seven begins on the Memorial. He additionally added a T22 on the Workday final yr.

Jason Day
It’s a house recreation for the Aussie this week who’s a member at Muirfield Village however has did not translate his native data to event success right here prior to now. The exception was final yr when he posted a T7 on the Workday and adopted it up with a T4 on the Memorial, his first two high 10s at his residence course, in 13 whole makes an attempt. We know most golf programs weren’t capable of do their regular upkeep final yr on account of COVID-19 insurance policies so most of the PGA TOUR programs performed a bit in another way, or simpler, shortly after the return of golf. Will Day return to ending exterior of the highest 25 at his residence course, which he is executed in 10-of-13 begins at MVGC? Or is that this a great spot for him to snap out of his present droop?

Ranking the Field

1. Jordan Spieth
2. Viktor Hovland
3. Xander Schauffele
4. Jon Rahm
5. Tony Finau
6. Patrick Cantlay
7. Bryson DeChambeau
8. Justin Thomas
9. Collin Morikawa
10. Matthew Fitzpatrick
11. Patrick Reed
12. Rory McIlroy
13. Joaquin Niemann
14. Corey Conners
15. Hideki Matsuyama
16. Christiaan Bezuidenhout
17. Kevin Streelman
18. Charley Hoffman
19. Scottie Scheffler
20. Emiliano Grillo

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