Class field at Memorial
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 The Memorial Tournament | Preview | 29 May 2012
The PGA Tour is in Dublin in Ohio for one of the more significant regular tour events of their 2012 schedule and with the US Open now only two weeks away the tournament takes on even greater significance as players tweak their games for the test ahead at the Olympic Golf Club.
Not that the Muirfield Village layout does not offer a great test in itself, the Jack Nicklaus and Desmond Muirhead layout considered one of the best of those regularly used on the PGA Tour.
Eight of the world’s top ten think enough of the event and its important place in the schedule to grace it with their presence only Westwood and Matt Kuchar not teeing it up this week.
The field therefore includes the world number one and two golfers, Luke Donald and Rory McIlory, both starting the event off the back of contrasting lead in form.
Donald regained his world number one mantle with his impressive victory at Wentworth last week while McIlroy has missed his last two cuts and his game seems some way from where it was earlier in the season when he was reeling off a series of top three finishes. McIlroy has added next week’s event in Memphis into his schedule now also realising that he is some way short of where he needs to be if he is to defend his US Open title.
Donald has been twice inside the top ten in his last three starts at Memorial suggesting it is a golf course he plays well enough to continue his great run at present.
McIlroy also enjoys a good record here having finished 10th and 5th in his only two visits to the event but his current form is of concern.
With the withdrawal of Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson is left as the leading world ranked American in the field but with a best of 23rd in six starts in the event, his record is not great. Watson has played only one event since his win at Augusta National so he might not yet be quite ready to contend again.
Justin Rose played very well last week at the BMW PGA and as a former winner and runner up in this event appears to be real chance to continue his very impressive season to date. He seems to be very much at ease with things generally and it would be no surprise to see him add a second Memorial title.
Four time winner Tiger Woods gets a mention here only because of that record but he is just too hard to predict at present to be confident of his chances. There has been little to get excited about since his victory at Bay Hill in March.
One player for longer odds might well be Jim Furyk whose considerable game seems to be returning and who enjoys a good record at the event. Furyk won in 2002 but has recorded several more recent top tens and his game generally appears to be building momentum again.
The Australians in the field are Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, Marc Leishman, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Robert Allenby, Nick O’Hern, Stuart Appleby, John Senden and Bryden Macpherson, Macpherson playing his second event as a professional after turning professional following the Masters.
Australians who have played this course well on occasions include Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden who was 7th last year and Nick O’Hern.
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