A post-Memorial Day tradition continues on the PGA TOUR this week, as an elite field of 120 invitees travels to the Buckeye State for The Memorial Tournament. Jack Nicklaus's Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio plays host for the 42nd consecutive year, presenting a demanding test for players just as thoughts begin to turn to Erin Hills and the 117th U.S. Open Championship in two weeks.
Nicklaus built the undulating par-72, 7,265-yard layout with three objectives in mind - to bring a world-class PGA TOUR event to his hometown community of Columbus, Ohio, to honor golf and those who have distinguished themselves in the game and to benefit Greater Columbus charities with a particular focus on the cause of helping children. The Memorial has succeeded on all counts, ranking as a perennial favorite stop among players, providing a prominent stage to honor golf's greats and raising over $27 million for local charities since 1976 (including $16.5 million for Nationwide Children's Hospital).
And at this prestigious event, Titleist is once again the overwhelming golf ball choice, with 78 players trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, six times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist was also the top choice among players in the hybrids category (18) as well as the irons category with 30 sets in play.
Vokey Design Wedges also topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (135) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice among players with 50 putters in play.
• • •
- Muirfield Village Golf Club was named after Muirfield, Scotland, where Jack Nicklaus won the first of his three Open Championship titles in 1966.
- Along with hosting the Memorial Tournament every year since its inception in 1976, Muirfield Village has also hosted several national championships and international team competitions, including the 1986 U.S. Junior Amateur, the 1987 Ryder Cup, the 1992 U.S. Amateur, the 1998 Solheim Cup and the 2013 Presidents Cup. Muirfield Village is the only venue to have hosted the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and the Presidents Cup.
- Since 1983 when records began, three players have made a hole-in-one during the tournament and gone onto win, most recently Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker in 2011.
- No player has ever taken less than 100 putts at the Memorial Tournament. Four players have recorded exactly 100 putts.
- There has never been a wire-to-wire winner at the Memorial Tournament.
- A this year’s Memorial Tournament, World Golf Hall of Fame Member Greg Norman is being honored. Norman won 20 times on the PGA TOUR, 91 times worldwide and held the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Rankings for 331 consecutive weeks. Tony Lema, Ken Venturi and Harvie Wood are also being honored posthumously.
• • •
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Dufner (Pro V1x) fired a 7-under-par 65 in this year's opening round, good for a share of the overnight lead with Titleist golf ball loyalist David Lingmerth (Pro V1x), the 2015 Memorial Tournament champion. Dufner followed up with another 7-under-par 65 on Friday, setting a new 36-hole scoring record at The Memorial.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth (Pro V1x), who finished runner-up at last week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, is returning to The Memorial Tournament for the fifth time. His best finish at the event was T3 in 2016. In 2013, Spieth earned a Captain’s Pick for the Presidents Cup, played at Muirfield Village, where he went 2-2-0.
Titleist golf ball loyalist Rickie Fowler (Pro V1) posted a runner-up finish in his first start in the Memorial Tournament when he held at least a share of the lead in each of the first three rounds in 2010. Fowler captured his fourth PGA TOUR title earlier this year at The Honda Classic.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott (Pro V1) is making his 10th start of the season. His T6 at THE PLAYERS in his most recent start was his third top-10 of the season. Scott has three top-five finishes in nine appearances at the Memorial Tournament, including a T4 in his most recent start at Muirfield Village in 2014 (T4/2014, T5/2007, T4/2006).
Titleist Brand Ambassador Peter Uihlein (Pro V1x) will make his first appearance at the Memorial Tournament. The 27-year-old won the U.S. Amateur while attending Oklahoma State University. Earlier this year he finished T5 at the Puerto Rico Open, one of 25 career PGA TOUR starts. Uihlein, a European Tour member, was voted as European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2013.
• • •
Welcome to The Memorial Tournament.
A slow motion look at one of the swings that Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Dufner used to set the new 36-hole scoring mark at Muirfield Village.
Fast starts, also, for these two young Titleist Brand Ambassadors.
Some more cool slo-mo video. A pure strike on this approach from Justin Thomas…
…as well as this tee shot from Justin’s former Crimson Tide teammate, Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley.
Golf course architecture aficionado, Titleist Brand Ambassador Zac Blair shares one of his favorite holes at Muirfield Village.
A touch of class from Titleist golf ball loyalist Rickie Fowler on No. 18.
More from Zac Blair: some vintage Acushnet Titleist Red golf balls…
…and some wild vintage packaging!
Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist this weekend!