Previews and pre-event analysis from Golf Betting System's PGA Tour and European Tour coverage
To read Steve Bamford's The Memorial Tournament Tips for 2014 click here. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance is one of the domestic highlights of the PGA Tour season. Founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus at his Muirfield Village Golf Club, 'The Memorial' is a short field tournament as it holds Invitational status. As a restricted field event on the PGA Tour, only the first 75 players on the previous year's FedEx Cup standings are guaranteed invites. So The Memorial always attracts a stellar field of the world's best players; all of whom are keen to play the classical jewel that is Muirfield Village. Regular attendees include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, with TW having 5 tournament wins to his name in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009 and 2013. Read Steve Bamford's Memorial Tournament Tips for 2014 click here
Tournament Facts & Scheduling
Muirfield Village always marks the PGA Tour's first visit 'up state.' After virtually 6 months across Hawaii, California, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Carolina and Puerto Rico, the Tour finally visits Ohio for the first of a number of tournaments in the north portion of the United States and Canada. The Memorial also tends to be the last outing of many elite players prior to the US Open which is always held in the second week of June. The short-field, Invitational nature of the tournament in combination with the classical style of Muirfield, leads to elite winners, with Ryder Cup team members; namely Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Justin Rose and Kenny Perry surrounding Tiger Woods as champions here since 2008.
The Memorial Course Details
Muirfield Village Golf Club, Columbus, Ohio. Designer: Jack Nicklaus 1974 Course Type: Classical Par: 72 Length: 7,352 yards Water Hazards: 13 Bunkers: 79 Fairways: Bentgrass with Poa Annua Rough: Kentucky bluegrass with ryegrass/fescue 3" Greens: 5,000 sq.ft average featuring Bentgrass Stimpmeter: 13ft Scoring Avg 2012: 73.68 Ranked 6 of 49 courses for difficulty on the 2012 PGA Tour 2013: 73.26 Ranked 6 of 43 courses in 2013 for difficulty.
Previous Champions 2013: Matt Kuchar; 2012: Tiger Woods; 2011: Steve Stricker; 2010: Justin Rose 2009: Tiger Woods; 2008: Kenny Perry; 2007: K.J. Choi.
Winners Scores - Post 2009 2013: -12/276; 2012: -8/280; 2011: -16/272; 2010: -18/270; 2009: -12/276.
Winners Prices 2013: Kuchar - 22/1 2012: Woods - 16/1 2011: Stricker - 28/1 2010: Rose - 80/1 2009: Woods- 3/1
Pre-Tournament Key Summary
Quality, elite, PGA Tour winners always come to the fore at Muirfield Village. Winning 'Jack's Tournament' on the classical masterpiece that is Muirfield, is still an honour that motivates the very best players. It's also easy to conclude that with the close proximity of the US Open to The Memorial, the world's best are aiming to peak for the 2nd Major Championship of the season.
Muirfield offers a little width from the tee and is a real 'second shot' course. Rough length is penal for a PGA Tour event, especially around the greens, where scrambling and putting on undulating bentgrass green surfaces that run up to 13 on the Stimpmeter; is challenging in the extreme. Wind is also often a feature in this part of Ohio, all of which makes Muirfield stretch the very best. So we tend to see real classical golf course scoring here of between -8 in tough windy conditions through to -16 in benign soft conditions.
Winners tend a have a history of playing well on longer Par 72 formats and course experience is imperative around here. Look for players who are in decent form, have multiple Muirfield appearances and who have delivered at the very least a Top 20 around here.
Below we track the results of Golf Betting System PGA Tour tipster Steve Bamford who has been producing weekly tips since 2009. You can also follow him on Twitter @bamfordgolf.