2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open — #wampo
This week’s PGA Tour event is the Wampo! which is the shorter acronym, and hopefully what the twitter hashtag will be for anyone tweeting about the tournament.
Another interesting note is that if you go to their website, they mention that the two words are either “The Greatest Show on Grass” or “The People’s Open”. But then if you go look at their twitter, they use the hashtag #greenestshow for every tweet (and unfortunately not #wampo yet). So many phrases and words that they want associated with their event.
Here are the links to the GOTM twitter, instagram, and weekly email sign up. Follow them all, press play on the song below, and then read about what to watch for this week.
This week I really wanted to post a song from Run the Jewels new awesome album that was released on Christmas, but pretty sure I can’t exactly post one here since every song on this album has a bunch of swear words. So guess I’m going to go with an old Arcade Fire songs from 2010.
The 16th Hole
If you hit the green, the fans will cheer for you. If you miss the green, the fans will boo. This glorious simplicity allows for maximum cheering because most everyone watching at that hole will be drunk all day!
Currently, the 16th hole looks like this, which is an awesome pic from last year by GOTM correspondent Wyatt when he was at the event. The entire hole is surrounded by so many seats it basically looks like a colosseum, which is also what a bunch of people nicknamed the hole at this point!
Interesting that pretty much every seat there these days are boxes, paid for by sponsors, meaning there are only a few normal seats. So if you have a standard ticket and want to watch the 16th hole, you gotta get there early in the morning and just be prepared to sit there until players come through. And probably drink a lot cause that’s what everyone does all day.
Besides how cool the hole looks now, it’s actually interesting to look back on older versions of the hole to see what it looked like before. The most interesting thing to note is how TPC courses designed by Pete Dye are all built with hills on the side of the holes so every fan who’s at that hole watching would be able to see easily above the person in front of them. TPC Sawgrass is like this, so when you watch the Players Championship in May, you can check out some of the same little hills that everyone can see off of.
2017 Farmers Insurance Open — Being played at a course Tiger has won 8 times
We’re back! No more tumor in my brain, and starting to feel better from the surgery, so time for more weekly previews. Though the fourth tournament of the year, this southern California event is by far the best full field tournament thus far and is on our first NFL-less weekend since September 2016 (we don’t count preseason or Pro-Bowl). A tournament with a lot to watch for coinciding with our first football-free weekend makes for an extra fun preview. But first, music:
Yes, Tiger Woods is playing. And if you didn’t know that before reading this, then you really need to follow golf more because everyone’s been talking about him playing this week. This is his first tournament in 17 months! So get excited.
It’s really going to be interesting watching him and seeing how he plays. Back a few weeks ago when he played in the Hero World Challenge, Tiger had the most number of birdies, but still finished T15 (30 players total).
Basically he’s like Brett Favre. Brett really was a great quarterback when he played in the NFL, tons of touchdowns, tons of great passes, but anytime he had the lead going into the 4th quarter, all us Packer fans would sit there worried that he was going to mess up, throw an interception, and we’d lose the game because of it. Oh Brett.
Oh yeah, the other thing about Tiger is his new clubs selection! Nike’s decision to get rid of making clubs meant two things. First, they decided to increase the number of clothes they’re going to make with the Nike swoosh, so Tiger, Rory, and now Jason Day will all be wearing that. Second, all the Nike sponsored players need to find a new brand for all their golf clubs! For example, Rory switched over to Callaway equipment a while ago before his injury. Tiger however, hadn’t told people what clubs he was switching to until this (Wednesday) morning! Drumroll please….
TaylorMade!!!!!! What’s interesting is what he claims to have done to determine which club brand to go with. Apparently he tested all different brands for several months and eventually chose TaylorMade because those clubs were “better” for him. But why did he actually choose TaylorMade? Like was it the quality of the their clubs that really made him decide to use those from now on? Or did it also have to do with the amount of money and advertising that they’re going to give to him?
2017 SBS Tournament of Champions — The real start of the PGA Tour season
Welcome back to the 2017 series of GOTM previews! This week, the Tour starts it’s two week stretch in Hawaii, while the rest of us are stuck in the cold continental (I’m presuming at least) US. Here’s what to watch for, and some music, as always.
Shoutout to the flute in the chorus here. Can it be a chorus without lyrics? I’m gonna say yes.
What the hell is SBS?
My first attempt at figuring out what SBS logically involved I searched Google. Which for a hot sec led me to believe that SBS referred to this Australian Broadcasting Company thing. I half rationalized it by thinking that Hawaii was like, almost in Australia, so that’s not unreasonable for an Australian Company to sponsor the tournament! Yeah, that was dumb.
Then off to looking at wikipedia, where I hit an article that disambiguates SBS, and instead of having one company stick out as the sponsor, I was left with something like 50 different SBSs. I actually started clicking on all of the links there, trying to match the logo from the wikipedia page to the tournament’s logo, and then also realized that was really dumb.
Finally, after searching PGA Tour dot com and finding nothing, I landed on the tournament’s wikipedia article which chronicled the saga of title sponsorships for the event. SBS refers to Seoul Broadcasting System and actually was the title sponsor back in 2010. Hyundai took that over in 2011 (both Korean brands), while SBS was still a sponsor, though not title-wise. A little change up last year, with Northern Trust taking over a FedEx Cup event, Hyundai, who “is headquartered and heavily invested in the greater Los Angeles area” will take over the event at Riviera, and SBS is back titling the ToC!
Excellent sleuthing by me, and all that was left to do was edit the tournament’s wikipedia article with the new information. Though really, you’d think the PGA Tour would do a little more at making it easy to figure out who’s sponsoring their events. But that’s just me.
No issues with the NFL Playoffs
My first thought when thinking about watching this weekend’s action was about how in the world the PGA Tour could expect anyone to watch the golf, when I know everyone here is going to be glued to their TVs watching the Packers take down the Giants at Lambeau. And then I realized I was an idiot because the Tour is off in Hawaii, meaning that the action will just get started over there right after the Packer’s victory.
What to Watch For in the 2017 Year of Golf
Welcome to golf in the year 2017! Most of these 2017 preview articles take either one of two directions. 1) Super boring lists of facts about the upcoming season or 2) Ridiculous lists of predictions that aren’t going to come true and where the author isn’t held accountable for their terrible foresight. So I figured, instead of sticking to just one of those standard forms of preview article, I present the GOTM mishmash 2017 preview!
And as Chance the Rapper notes at the beginning of the intro here (well actually, the line was taken from Kanye, but I’m crediting Chance for now), even better than I was the last time, and we back.
The Rise of Hideki
Most well known for the odd Srixon outfits he wears, which I’m not sure if Hideki picks out himself or if Srixon forces him wear presumably to appeal to the Japanese golf playing public. Pretty sure no random Joe in the US is going to be wearing this yellow getup just because Hideki wore it when he beat a flailing Rickie Fowler in a playoff (during the Super Bowl) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this past year.
Hideki is also hilarious to watch because of his displays of displeasure, and abridged follow throughs on what most people would consider decent shots. I can understand the desire to hit every shot perfect, but Hideki takes it to a whole new level. Compilation time! Watch the whole vid, it isn’t too long.
All that being out of the way first, people quickly forget how good H-dek has been his entire life, dating back to his amateur career. He was the first person, as a 19 year old, to earn the Masters exemption for winning the Asian Amateur back in 2011, where he was also the low amateur that year, making the cut. In 2012, reached number 1 in the world amateur golf rankings. After his first professional year in 2013, he earned enough world-wide money to become a member on the PGA Tour in 2014, where he won the Memorial. After a lack luster 2015, where his highlighting accomplishment was t5 at the Masters, he won the WMPO early in 2016, and current, has won 4 of his last 5 events dating back to this October, including a victory at the Hero World Challenge.
Now obviously I’m not talking that he’s Tiger level, considering Tiger. But given his consistency from these last few years and the recent improvement makes him poised for a big breakout soon. And when I say “big breakout”, I mean top 3 in the world within 3 years.
Hideki is going to have a great 2017 no doubt, but I don’t know if I’m ready to proclaim him as number 1 in the world at the end of 2017 just yet.
DJ is best
With all my drooling over Hideki, I need to step back and make sure people know that Dustin Johnson will have the best 2017, money-wise, win-wise, sexy butter cut drivers that go forever-wise, and chiseled beard-wise.
He’s got the most talent, and seems like he finally has the experience and self control to play well rather than party it up on yachts. And after all this time he appears to have learned to overcome his brother’s lack of caddying prowess and win nonetheless.
2016 PGA Championship — Glory’s Last Shot?
Last major before the FedEx Cup Playoffs finish up the tour seaso- Wait, they’re telling me that there’s another tournament, the “Olympics”, that is supposedly something that people want to win between the PGA Championship and the FEC Playoffs? We’ll talk about whatever the Olympics are when the time comes, but right now it’s time for the last major of the year, the PGA Championship!
Glory’s Last Shot?
You’ll hear that tagline all week, the PGA being “Glory’s last shot”. However, the problem now is that after the PGA we have the Olympics as well as the FedEx Cup, providing numerous additional opportunities at personal glory. And really, let’s be honest here, having two majors in three weeks really makes the second seem less important. Remember the pastrami sandwich from last week’s preview? The PGA Championship is that bottom piece of bread here in that metaphor.
Though it takes away from the glory of this tournament, I must give credit to the PGA Tour for what it has done with the FedEx Cup. In its short 9 year existence, the FedEx Cup has been elevated by the PGA Tour from somewhat of a gimmick into a legit 4 event series that players and fans actually care about. Damn right I’m gonna tune in every week and see who’s playing well at the end of the year.
Also, why the hell is glory’s last shot in July?! It’s the 7th month of the year. There are 12 months in the year if you didn’t know. Why can’t the tournament be, you know, closer to the end of the summer which would make sense? Oh yeah, the Olympics.
First off, that’s an impressive grouping of vowels in that word. According to Wikipedia, “Baltusrol Golf Club was named after Baltus Roll (1769–1831), who farmed the land on which the club resides today.” Wikipedia doesn’t say who came up with that brilliant naming scheme. If I ever farmed some land, and then later had a championship golf course built on top of my land, I hope they name it Schuljoh Golf Club in my honor.
Anyway, Baltusrol is kind of a weird course in the PGA Championship rotation. A USGA course for much of it’s existence, it apparently switched allegiance to the PGA somewhere between 2000 when it last hosted the US Am, and 2005 when it hosted it’s first PGA Championship. And despite hosting a bunch of top events, the course is relatively unknown in terms of design. I couldn’t think of what any hole specifically looked like until I googled it (see below). Players seems to like the design, and it’s hard to find controversy in hosting the PGA at a course with as much history as Baltusrol.
Also a fan of how the club’s logo is pretty much the golden snitch!
The 4th Hole
I didn’t even remember this part of the course, but apparently the 4th hole is famous!
Back earlier this year, I wrote an article about the most famous hole by number. And when apparently Baltusrol has one of the most famous 4th holes in golf. It does look pretty out there.
Also, looking at Rickie Fowler’s snapchat story, he had a pic of the 4th hole with grandstands surrounding it. Naturally, that means I screenshotted it and posted it here.
RBC Canadian Open — Opens on Opens
Though a preview for a different event isn’t exactly the place for this, but shoutout to Henrik Stenson for that Sunday 63. And now, Phil’s finished second in a major 11 times, which is incredible to think about, but still pales in comparison to Jack Nicklaus and his 19 runner up finishes! Jack’s finished second 19 times, and he still won 18 majors in his career. I know I talk about Tiger being the GOAT all the time, but damn Jack.
This week, defending champion and current world number 1 Jason Day tries to repeat at the RBC Canadian Open. But world number 2 Dustin Johnson will also be there trying to take that number one spot away.
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In honor of Country Thunder this weekend, here’s some Eric F. Church.
Because of the dumb Olympics, the poor Canadian Open is the sandwich meat between the two pieces of major bread that is the British Open and the PGA Championship. Luckily in this metaphor, the RBCCO isn’t some crappy Oscar Mayer bologna, but some high class roast beef. Or possibly pastrami. Big fan of pastrami.
But really though, it has to suck when your event is moved from a normally fine spot in the schedule is forced to be the buffer between majors. Then again, it’s not like anybody is playing in the Olympics, so having some time off between the PGA and FedEx Cup playoffs means top guys don’t have to ditch on the RBCCO.
Back to Glen Abbey
Also of note, this is the second consecutive PGA Tour event outside the country. And as I mentioned last week’s preview, as a semi ignorant American that I am, I needed to look up on a map where Glen Abbey was, so I figured I should just include another screenshot of Google Maps so people out there know how close to the US they course is this week.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus back in 1977, it’s not known because it’s hosted the Canadian Open the most times, but also because of Tiger Woods hitting a ridiculous fairway bunker shot to one when he played there in 2000. Here’s a video of the shot that I know I’ve posted before, but definitely needs to be watched again.
Yes! The Canadian lefty is back this week to try his hand at making a cut. And because of that, I’m going to use this space to preach about why old guys who kind of suck still get to play in tournaments rather than the good up-and-comers from the Web.com tour. So feel free to skip to the next section if you don’t want to be told what to think.
The PGA Tour needs casual fans to watch tournaments and want to go to tournaments. Casual fans don’t want to see new players that have a chance to be stars. They want players who they actually know. It’s like going to a concert and not knowing any of the songs. Sure it’s interesting, but it’s not even close to as good as when you know the lyrics and can sing along. Yup, I just compared Mike Weir to a band playing a concert. Just remember, in general, just remember, old well known guys >>>>> new unproven guys in the eyes of the public.
Battle for No. 1
Along with defending champ Day, Dustin Johnson is also making an appearance this week. As with most Tour events, eyes will be on the best players. Though Day still holds the number 1 ranking thanks to the fantastic end to his season last year, DJ has definitely been playing the best of recent, beating Day during the final round of the WGC Bridgestone a couple weeks ago, right after winning the US Open.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Tour will pair the two guys together the first two rounds, or spread them out to get talent in both waves of tee times. I’d say put them together, I want a show.
2016 Open Championship — Royal Postage Stamps in the Morning
Despite all the talk on the Golf Channel about players skipping the Olympics, we actually have a major being played this week! Crazy right? Poor British Open / Open Championship for getting semi overshadowed by a different event. That being said, it’s still a major, and the world’s eyes will be on Scotland this week, and for the most part, eyes that are thankful it’s sunny and warm where they are.
As always, music while you read.
What Makes a Course Royal?
Even after 25 years of being alive for British Opens, I guess I never thought of why some of the courses are prefaced with “Royal” in front of their title. And apparently there’s no real reason for this other than just the Royal family saying that something is cool enough to be Royal. Either way, Troon was granted Royal status in 1978, during its 100 year anniversary.
There don’t appear to be any Royal courses in the US, considering it wasn’t exactly a colony of the Brits back when golf courses started popping up in the early 1900s, but if there were, I’m sure the first would be Royal Lincoln Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That course definitely has the Royal feel, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Now I’m wondering if the Royal family can designate any location as “Royal”. Like could the Starbucks I’m writing this at be a Royal Starbs, or if the PokeStop around the corner from my apartment can be a Royal PokeStop.
At just 123 yards, the 8th hole at Royal Troon is dubbed the Postage Stamp, is one of the more famous holes in British Open golf, partially because it’s super short, and partially because it has a cool name. Look for the Postage Stamp hole to be featured heavily on television coverage. Also, if anyone out there wants to do some cool graffiti, I suggest spray painting the Queen’s face on the green to make it look like a real British postage stamp. Just don’t say you got the idea from GOTM.
Instead of me trying to describe it, how about I just let this nice Scottish man describe the hole while some sort of drone camera revolves around it.
Also, if you’re looking for some more videos about the difficulty of the hole, check out Rory making a 9 in a practice round. Those bunkers are really deep.
Last Time at Troon
Todd Hamilton beat Ernie Els in a 4 hole aggregate playoff to claim his only major title. Yup that Todd Hamilton.
For some reason, the British Open seems to bring out some odd winners. Hamilton won in 2004, just two years after Ben Curtis, everyone’s favorite NFL sponsored pro golfer, won in 2002. Two guys who never really did anything before or after that win. But hey, can’t take away their names on the Claret Jug.
Apparently it does make a difference where in the UK the Open is played. Being the semi-ignorant American that I am, I always figured that it didn’t matter if the Open was played in England or Scotland. But apparently it does!
Since I couldn’t find a good map indicating where Troon was, I whipped out the screenshot again and got that picture below. Quite far up north. I also looked up sunrise and sunset times for Troon and apparently it’s only from 04:57 to 21:50 (9:50 for those incompetent at math). I always thought that Scotland would have ridiculously late sunset times, but 9:50 isn’t too unreasonable.
Despite what we talk about in the US, a links golf course is not just a course with open, tree-less, fescue laiden property. Links golf courses are ones where the front nine goes out from the clubhouse, and the back nine comes back to the clubhouse. Boom.
Checkout the super janky screenshot I took from Troon’s club’s website that shows the routing. The holes go out along the water, and then come back to the clubhouse.
Also, if you’ve ever heard the terms “outward 9” and “inward 9”, links courses are where they originated since holes literally go outward and then inward.
Also of note with the routing here, is that the first 6 holes play down the prevailing wind and are decently short, while the incoming holes are into the wind and longer. So don’t be surprised when players start off 4 or 5 under through 6, only to finish the round over par.
Early Morning Coverage
While I’m sure the networks love it when majors are played on the west coast, offering prime time coverage (remember the 2008 US Open at Torrey? TDubs winning playing in the evening was cool to watch) as a golf fan, I don’t want to have to wait and tap my toes all day for coverage to start.
This year, with tee times starting at 6:35 in the morning over in Scotland, 1:30am-4pm EST on Thursday and Friday. Go to a bar on Thursday night, and, at least in the midwest, you can get an hour and a half of morning coverage before the bars close. Then again, if you’re at a bar til 2 am close, you might not be able to wake up to enjoy the coverage all morning long. Watching golf is a balance.
What’s even better about that is that when the coverage is done, and you’re undoubtably pumped for whoever won, and all motivated to practice a lot and play yourself, you’ve still got 5 hours or so of sunlight left in the US to tee it up. And we all know, evening golf is best golf.
Even though coverage is moving to NBC / Golf Channel, Mike Tirico, my fave sports announcer is moving to that family of networks just in time to anchor coverage. Well I guess Johnny Miller will really be anchoring coverage, but Mike Tirico will be anchoring coverage in our hearts.
PGA Tour is back!
After a not desired week off due to flooding, the PGA Tour is back with an off week event, this time the Barbasol Championship down on the RTJGT. Check out coverage after the Open is done since we know you won’t have had your fix of pro golf at that point.
2016 Quicken Loans National — Loans on a Course
Time for another post major hangover! Luckily we have Tiger Woods to act as the Cool Blue Gatorade to help squash the throbbing headache we all have after watching DJ beat Oakmont and the USGA. It’s the Quicken Loans National!
Turns out new Band of Horses is as good as old Band of Horses.
Was anybody else out there as confused as I was when I looked at the schedule and realized that the tournament after the US Open is the QLN? Time to blame the stupid Olympics! The QLN is just the first event this year to be shifted to allow for the Olympics. This also means a PGA Championship in July, with just one event between the British Open and the PGA. That’s just dumb.
And because the Olympics are on NBC, and the Golf Channel is owned by NBC, you’re not gonna hear anyone in the media complaining about this. But really, golf in the Olympics are dumb. At least with the current format. I’ll have more on my dislike for it in the future, so get ready for at least a little more complaining.
Back to Congressional
After a year off, the QLN is moving back to Congressional CC, a classic course if there ever was one.
Most notably, Congressional is the site of Rory’s 8 shot victory at the 2011 US Open. I just looked at the scores again to make sure I had the numbers right, and Rory finished at -16, how’d the USGA let him do that?! They should have issued him a couple one stroke penalties to bring him down a notch or two or seven. /s
Rory will not be playing this week however, he’ll be in Germany for the BMW International.
Tiger in the house, just not playing
The PGA Tour loves having hosts, big names who can go there and call the tournament their own. Names bring people to tournaments. Casual fans don’t really care about watching “good golf”, they want to see players with names they recognize play golf. And having Tdubs associated with an event, even though he isn’t playing, it huge.
Anyway, as we all know, Tiger is unfortunately sidelined. Some reports saying that he reinjured himself (again) so who knows when, if ever, he’ll be back in competitive action.
Which actually, on a semi side note, is what makes Lebron the best. He doesn’t get hurt! Can you imagine playing that hard for 82 games, four 7 game series, getting hacked all the time, basically tackled at some points, and then having to do that for some 15 years? Injury prevention is severely underrated in a top athlete. That should be in the scouting report as a top level line item. Just ask Ryan Braun or Derrick Rose how that’s treating them during their careers. I get pretty excited imagining what could have been if only Tiger wasn’t hurt all the time.
Injured Tiger will be around the media this week, possibly deflecting questions about his health. So look for some speculative stories about his status coming from the media.
It’s that time of year again! With NCAAs done, the summer schedule heating up, the top ams turn pro, expect sponsor exemptions into these different tournaments. This week, we see the pro debuts of Arizona State’s Jon Rham, most recently the low am at last week’s US Open, and Jordan Niebrugge of Oklahoma State, previously the low am at last year’s British Open.
Amateurs like this, and others who will be highlighted in the coming weeks, are all trying to pull the Jordan Spieth move of playing well enough on the big Tour using sponsor exemptions to never have to dip down to the Web.com tour. A tall order for sure, but interesting to watch.
Look for more of these features in the coming weeks as other top ams attempt to transition.
The American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge in Madison, Wisconsin, or simply Am Fam Champ. In keeping with the times, Steve Stricker, who isn’t even old enough yet to compete in Champions Tour events, serves as host. The Madison native will be out on the grounds and playing in a 9 hole exhibition scramble event along with Brett Favre, Mark Tauscher and Andy North. Now that’ll be a highly attended 9 holes.
U Ridge is really a cool course, front nine more open, and then head to a tree lined back nine, so check it out on tv when they show replays of the coverage at night. I’ve never been to a Champions Tour event, but apparently they have fields of only 81, and everyone uses carts. Which just sounds awesome.
2016 US Open — A US Open Course that Players Can’t Complain About
Finally time for another major! No more trying to think up things to watch for during a normal, standard, PGA Tour event. Lots to look out for, but the thing I’m most excited about is the fact that players can’t be complaining about the course! This is the 8th time it’s hosted the US Open, and while it’s well known for being really tough, no chance a player can go and say bad things about the course.
I feel like I first need to give a quick shoutout to Angel Cabrera, who chainsmoked his way to victory in 2007, the last time the US Open was played here. I don’t think I’ve every seen anyone get up to every tee shot and just rip drivers straight down the fairway, and then go to his bag and light another cig.
Shoutout to one of the catchiest songs I’ve been listening to lately. Now that I pasted the link here, I realize that it isn’t exactly a song that you’d use to pump yourself up for a US Open, but whateves, I’m gonna use this song anyway. Also, pretty sure Angel loves listening to this song too.
About the Course
I’ve never played there, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t watched enough of the course on tv and seen enough pictures to know a little about what’s going on.
Churchpew bunkers — They look like this and you’ll see them a lot this week in pictures and on tv.
Lots of rough — As seen in this Keegan Bradley Instagram post. There are a ton of Instagram posts already about how heavy the rough is at Oakmont, I just chose this one because I can point out how Keegan used the letter ‘u’ instead of typing the two extra letters and getting ‘you’. Come on Keegan, u r better than that.
The 2016 Memorial Tournament — They all won their last starts
The weather is heating up, and so are the top players in the world, just in time for the important tournaments of the summer. We move from Texas to Ohio, and Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournamet! Great field, really great course to watch on TV, and hopefully great golf to watch on TV if you’re stuck inside and can’t enjoy the nice weather yourself.
No music video with this week’s song, but this song’s a grower. Gets better with every listen.
What are they Memorializing?
Memorial Day was this past Monday, and the Memorial Tournament is this week. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that the Memorial Tournament was memorializing the same thing that Memorial Day memorializes — soldiers who “died while serving in the country’s armed forces“. Which is something I don’t think a lot of people realize, that Memorial Day isn’t about veterans, they have their own day, called Veterens Day.
The Memorial Tournament has nothing to do with the armed forces, guns, or specifically dead people. Instead, according to the tournament’s website,
The Memorial Tournament is themed each year around a person, living or dead, who has contributed to the game of golf. This was Jack Nicklaus’ idea as a contribution to perpetuating achievements of the game’s greatest individuals. The honoree is selected by the Captains Club, a group of statesmen who act independently of the tournament organization, but who also advise on player invitations and the conduct of the event generally.
That sure seems like a lot of work to do if you’re selected as the honoree, so I doubt there’s actually any work involved other than showing up and getting your name on the “Wall of Honor”.
This year’s honoree is Johnny Miller, and the two posthumous honorees are Leo Diegel and Horton Smith.
About the Course
Built in 1974 by Jack for Jack,Muirfield Village Golf Club currently sits at 7,392 yards, par 72. Back when it was built, it stretched over 7,000 yards which in 1974 made it a long long golf course.
It’s a top rated course on Tour every year, and besides the yearly event, it’s also host of some bigger events, such as the Ryder, Presidents, and Solheim Cups, as well as a US Amateur.
And it’s sexy as hell to look at, even on TV.
Check out all the pics here. Just looking at the course screams a Nicklaus design as well. So many do or die shots, and through in a split fairway and there you have a Nicklaus course! Definitely be cool to play sometime.
As part of an agreement that stretches the sponsorship duties of Nationwide Insurance, the prize money for the Memorial has jumped. From a weak ass purse of only $6.2M last year in 2015, this year’s purse is $8.2M, and per the sponsorship agreement, the purse will increase by $200k every year until 2021. The winner this week will also get $1.53M, which is way up there compared to other normal non-major PGA Tour events. Big money gets big players, so this deal should ensure a top quality field for the foreseeable future.
Who to Watch For
Basically everyone. Because of the timing of the Memorial, after a semi-unappealing Texas swing and two weeks before the US Open meaning perfect prep time. Throw in that Jack Nicklaus is the host (meaning not playing could be considered a slight to one of the best golfers of all time), and that the course is great, and everyone plays. But let’s just concentrate on the top three players in the world shall we?
Jason Day — Dude actually lives in Columbus so this is a pretty much a hometown event for him. Oh, and he won his last start, the Players.
Rory — Two weeks removed from a great win in Ireland, his first since November of last year. Now it’s getting interesting with him. I still say he’s the most talented player out there, and the win two weeks ago (those 3 woods at the end? Swoon) shows he still has the desire. Oh, and he won his last start, the Irish Open.
Spieth — Big winner last week and absolutely put the bad rounds from the Masters and the Byron Nelson behind him. Does this mean he’s playing well? Yes. Does this mean he’ll play well this week? Not necessarily. Oh, and he won his last start, the D&D Invite.
H-Dek — Figured I could throw in Hideki here as well, even though he did not win his last start. He’s playing great overall, finishing 7th, 11th, and 7th his last three starts, and clearly loves this course winning two years ago, and finishing 5th last year. So congrats, H-dek, on earning a spot on this list.
You see there’s a little trend here. If these guys keep playing like this, it’s gonna be a fun summer of golf.