Golf lowdowns: Best in the world ready to battle for honours at ‘Jack’s Place’

Nicklaus-hosted Memorial tournament one of the new PGA Tour designated tournaments with a $20 million purse

The Memorial

Purse: €18.75 million (€3.25m to the winner)

Where: Dublin, Ohio

The course: Muirfield Village Golf Club – 7,571 yards, par 72 – is affectionately known as “Jack’s Place”, being owned and designed (in collaboration with Desmond Muirhead) by none other than the tournament host Jack Nicklaus.

The venue’s name is inspired by Muirfield in Scotland, where the Golden Bear won the first of three Opens in 1966. The course, which opened in 1974, has undergone renovations in recent years but retains its reputation as being tough and demanding, known for its heavy rough and quick greens.


The field: Another of the new PGA Tour designated tournaments with a $20 million purse, the top-5 players on the world rankings, headed by Scottie Scheffler, are playing this week. Max Homa, the world number six, is only absent because he is attending his sister’s wedding. Billy Horschel is the defending champion.

Quote-Unquote: “Any time Jack puts his name into something it’s going to have certain significance. When you’re paired with a challenging golf course, it makes it even better. I think there’s something special around here . . . to call yourself a Memorial champion and have that handshake with Jack on 18 is pretty unique . . . Those little traditions, like that one on 18 is one of those things. It’s very special.” – Masters champion Jon Rahm, a winner of the Memorial in 2020, observing the traditions of the Memorial.

Irish in the field: Séamus Power is grouped with Matt Wallace and Cam Davis (off the 1st, 12.48pm Irish time); Shane Lowry is grouped with Nick Hardy and Sungjae Im (off the 10th, 1.41pm); Rory McIlroy is in a group with Tyrrell Hatton and Jordan Spieth (off the 1st, 5.53pm).

Betting: As it usually is these days when both Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm are in the field, the duo head the market. The American is rated 13-2 favourite with the Spaniard a 7-1 chance. Patrick Cantlay, the 2021 champion, is priced at 10-1, Viktor Hovalnd’s short game has improved significantly and he is worth a look at 20-1, while Sahith Theegala is a decent each-way shout at 50s.

On TV: Live on Sky Sports (from 5pm).

Mizuho Americas Open

Purse: €2.6 million (€400,000 to the winner)

Where: Jersey City, New Jersey

The course: Liberty National Golf Club – 6,656 yards, par 71 – is located across the Hudson river from Manhattan and features the iconic Statue of Liberty as a backdrop along with the New York skyscrapers. The course has hosted the Presidents Cup and the old Northern Trust tournament on the PGA Tour and is a design collaboration between former US Open champion Tom Kite and architect Bob Cupp and is a parkland layout with hints of a links feel, with fescues and a trademark wind off the river. The drivable par-four 16th (measuring 328 yards), with bunkers and water down the right, will tempt players to have a go for the green off the tee.

The field: A new event on the LPGA Tour, the Americas Open has attracted a strong field headed by world number one Jin Young Ko and Chevron champion Lilia Vu, while last week’s Bank of Hope matchplay champion Pajaree Anannarukarn is also competing. Jessica Korda, unfortunately, has taken a break from competition in order to hopefully find a solution to her ongoing back injury.

Quote-Unquote: “I feel like, right now, the mindset is very simple; try to adjust as much as possible to tour life and figure out what it means to be a professional, what I want to do out here” – former world amateur number one Rose Zhang on playing her first tournament as a professional.

Irish in the field: Stephanie Meadow is in a group with Frida Kinhult and Sophia Schubert (off the 10th, at 12.15pm Irish time); Leona Maguire is grouped with Andrea Lee and Stacy Lewis (off the 1st, 6.10pm).

Betting: Atthaya Thitikul heads the market at 8-1 alongside Jin Young Ko while the in-form Lilia Vu is rated a 20-1 shot. Leona Maguire is available at 28-1 while Stephanie Meadow is rated a 300-1 shot. There would appear to be decent each-way value on last week’s winner Pajaree Anannarukarn at 100-1.

On TV: Live on Sky Sports YouTube channel (from 5pm).

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times