If you play golf for a living, one thing you’d be wise to have on your wish list is victory at The Memorial.
No this event in Columbus is not a major but its a living monument to the guy who has 18 of them.
This is Jack’s tournament. He’s one of the few in life where you mention his first name only and we know who you’re talking about.
Yes, Jack’s event, Jack’s course, Jack’s hometown.
So it makes perfect sense that just about every big name in today’s game is at Muirfield Village this week, trying like all-get-out to win on Sunday.
Who doesn’t want Jack Nicklaus handing them the trophy?
You’ve got seven of the world’s top eight on hand, that’s pretty special then there’s that Tiger guy.
They come out of the bushes for Tiger, mainly because he’s the guy who came closest to Jack’s 18. All the rest are dreamers.
You can take those seven guys from the current top eight, add their majors together and they are still three short of Tiger and way short of Jack.
Reason is they all have their weaknesses, some more than others.
Here’s a quick look at who’s teeing it up at Muirfield on Thursday:
Justin Thomas: A lot of eyes on him. As the world’s current No. 1, the expectations are always there. After a tie for 17th at The Masters, he needs a better showing in the remaining three majors and this week is a perfect setting for him. With one major, the PGA, at least he’s broken the ice and has something on his resume that is missing from Tom Watson’s and Arnold Palmer’s.
Dustin Johnson: He’s quietly had a pretty quiet year. Seriously quiet. This guy has so much talent that a tie for 10th at The Masters is considered a total disappointment. Does he have a run in him for the U.S. Open in two weeks? He won in 2016 but remains yet another star with one major on his resume. Underachiever?
Justin Rose: His performance last week in Fort Worth sent Brooks Koepka back to the practice range. No one’s hotter than Justin Rose right now and you’d think the world’s new No. 3 might be the guy to beat at Shinnecock in two weeks. He was the 2013 U.S. Open winner, his only major. That means the current world’s one, two and three have the same number of majors at Jordan Spieth.
Jordan Spieth: If you had to sum up his season to date, you might say “Shocking.” As things stand right now, Spieth is one of the worst putters on the PGA Tour. But No. 5 is telling anyone who will listen that he “is close, very close” to breaking out of this massive slump he’s in.
Rory McIlroy: Here’s the biggest head-scratcher of the bunch. Anyone getting sick of all the golf broadcasters telling us that when Rory is on, he’s unbeatable? Well, the biggest question after last week’s beat-down Rory took at the hands of one Francesco Molinari is — when are we going to see this “unbeatable” Rory? Right now, he’s having trouble finding fairways and when it comes to putting, looks like he’s been taking lessons from Spieth. Enough said. But with four majors, he’s still the Mack-Daddy of all these golf millennials.
Rickie Fowler: Most popular, most liked, best smile, best with the kids. Beloved. The world’s No. 7 has that popularity thing down pat. Needs a win at Shinnecock in two weeks.
Jason Day: Those guys who tell us Rory’s “unbeatable” when he’s on need only look at this guy. J-Day is back in the top 10, climbing, trending up. This is a home-game for him this week in his adopted home town. Talk about talent? He’s paired the first two days with McIlroy and D.J. Who’s the longest in that group? Right now, J-Day’s the best performer of those three.
Those are your guys in the top eight in the world. Total majors between them — 11.
Then there’s the Tiger guy.
Woods loves this course. Five wins prove that. This is also where he shot 85 back in 2015, showing us that something was terribly wrong with him physically.
Could this be the week he wins again?
Or will it be one of those other seven?
Whatever happens, Jack’s got himself a great gathering of talent.
Should be fun.