Memorial Tournament

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Memorial Tournament
Tournament information
Location Dublin, Ohio
Established 1976, 40 years ago
Course(s) Muirfield Village Golf Club
Par 72
Length 7,392 yards (6,759 m)[1]
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $8.5 million
Month played June
Tournament record score
Aggregate 268 Tom Lehman (1994)
To par −20 Tom Lehman (1994)
Current champion
United States William McGirt
Muirfield Village is located in the US
Muirfield Village
Muirfield Village
Location in the United States
Muirfield Village is located in Ohio
Muirfield Village
Muirfield Village
Location in Ohio

The Memorial Tournament is a PGA Tour golf tournament, founded 40 years ago in 1976 by Jack Nicklaus. It is played on a Nicklaus-designed course at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb north of Columbus. The golf course passes through a large neighborhood called Muirfield Village, which includes a bronze sculpture of Nicklaus mentoring a young golfer; unveiled in 1999, it is located in the wide median of Muirfield Drive.[2][3]

One of the main features of the tournament is a yearly induction ceremony honoring past golfers. A plaque for each honoree is installed near the clubhouse at Muirfield; Nicklaus himself was the honoree in 2000.

The purse was increased over 37% for the 2016 edition, from $6.2 to $8.5 million.[4]


The greater Columbus area is where Nicklaus was born, raised, learned the game of golf, went to college, and started his own family. It was his vision to create a golf club that embodied his personal and professional life and to create a golf tournament that would long represent his passion for tournament golf, and would give back to a community that has embraced him and the game. This was fulfilled in May 1976 with the first Memorial Tournament, two years to the day after the course opened at Muirfield Village. The par-72 course was set at 7,072 yards (6,467 m),[5] a considerable length for the mid-1970s.

Nicklaus signaled his intent to host his own tournament during Masters Week in 1966, when he spoke of his desire to create a tournament that, like The Masters, had a global interest, and was inspired by the history and traditions of the game of golf. He also wanted the tournament to give back in the form of charitable contributions to organizations benefiting needy adults and children throughout Columbus and Ohio. The primary charitable beneficiary of the tournament is Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The Memorial reached the height of its popularity in the 1990s having reached "sold-out" status, a first on the PGA Tour other than the major championships. For a variety of reasons, the event has started seeing ticket sales decrease during the last five years.

Invitational status[edit]

The Memorial Tournament is one of only five tournaments given "invitational" status by the PGA Tour, and consequently it has a reduced field of only 120 players (as opposed to most full-field open tournaments with a field of 156 players). The other four tournaments with invitational status are the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage, the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, and the Quicken Loans National. Invitational tournaments have smaller fields (between 120 and 132 players), and have more freedom than full-field open tournaments in determining which players are eligible to participate in their event, as invitational tournaments are not required to fill their fields using the PGA Tour Priority Ranking System. Furthermore, unlike full-field open tournaments, invitational tournaments do not offer open qualifying (aka Monday qualifying).

In June 2014, the PGA Tour approved a resolution to grant the winner a three-year exemption, one more than other regular Tour events and on par with winners of the World Golf Championships, The Tour Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.[6]


The field consists of 120 players invited using the following criteria:[7]

  1. Memorial winners in the last five years or prior to 1997
  2. The Players Championship and major championship winners in the last five years
  3. The Tour Championship, World Golf Championships, and Arnold Palmer Invitational winners in the past three years
  4. Tournament winners in the past year
  5. Member of last named U.S. Ryder Cup team, European Ryder Cup team, U.S. Presidents Cup team, and International Presidents Cup team (non-PGA Tour members qualifying in this category count against unrestricted sponsor exemptions)
  6. Prior year U.S. Amateur winner
  7. Prior year British Amateur winner
  8. Up to four players selected by the tournament from among the money leaders from the other five Federation tours
  9. 14 sponsors exemptions – 2 from among graduates of the Tour Finals, 6 members not otherwise exempt, and 6 unrestricted
  10. Top 50 Official World Golf Ranking as of the Friday before the tournament
  11. Top 70 from prior year's FedEx Cup points list
  12. PGA Tour members whose non-member FedEx Cup points the previous season (excluding WGCs) would have placed them in the top 70
  13. Top 70 from current year's FedEx Cup points list as of the Friday before the tournament
  14. Prior year college player of the year (Jack Nicklaus Award)
  15. Remaining positions filled alternating from current year's and prior year's FedEx Cup point lists

Tournament highlights[edit]

  • 1976: Roger Maltbie wins the inaugural Memorial Tournament in a playoff, defeating Hale Irwin with a birdie on the fourth extra hole. The playoff was a three-hole aggregate, the first of its kind.[8] Irwin and Maltbie halved the first two extra holes, so it effectively became sudden death for the third hole. Maltbie's errant approach shot appeared headed for the gallery when it hit a stake, causing the ball to bounce onto the green, where both parred to halve the hole.[5]
  • 1977: Poor weather results in a Monday finish for the tournament. Host Jack Nicklaus wins by two shots over Hubert Green.[9]
  • 1980: Tom Watson's bid to become the first Memorial champion to defend his title is foiled when David Graham birdies the 72nd hole to edge Watson by one shot.[10]
  • 1984: Jack Nicklaus defeats Andy Bean in a sudden-death playoff to become the first two-time Memorial winner.[11]
  • 1988: On his way to winning PGA Player of the Year, Curtis Strange wins the Memorial by two shots over David Frost and Irwin.[12]
  • 1991: Kenny Perry wins for the first time ever on the PGA Tour, defeating Irwin on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.[13]
  • 1993: Paul Azinger birdies the 72nd hole by holing out from a bunker and finishes one shot ahead of Corey Pavin.[14]
  • 1994: Tom Lehman shoots a tournament record 268 (-20) for 72 holes on his way to a five-shot victory over Greg Norman.[15]
  • 2000: Tiger Woods becomes the first Memorial winner to successfully defend his title and finishes five shots ahead of Ernie Els.[16]
  • 2001: Woods wins for a third consecutive year, seven shots clear of runners-up Paul Azinger and Sergio García.[17]
  • 2005: Bart Bryant saves par from a hazard on the 72nd hole to win by one shot over Fred Couples.[18]
  • 2007: K. J. Choi shoots a final round 65 to win by one shot over Ryan Moore.[19]
  • 2012: Woods birdies three of his last four holes including a chip in on the 16th hole, turning a two-shot deficit into a two-shot victory. The win is Woods' 73rd PGA Tour victory, tying Jack Nicklaus for second most PGA Tour wins.[20]
  • 2013: Defending champion Woods posts a third round back nine score of 44, the worst in his career. He finished 20 shots behind winner Matt Kuchar.
  • 2014: Hideki Matsuyama wins in a playoff against Kevin Na.[21] He was the first Japanese PGA Tour winner since 2008.
  • 2015: In the third round, Tiger Woods shoots an 85, the worst round of his professional career. Three-time winner Kenny Perry played his last PGA Tour event.

Course layout[edit]

Muirfield Village Golf Club in 2016

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Yards 470 455 401 200 527 447 563 185 412 3,660 471 567 184 455 363 529 201 478 484 3,732 7,392
Par 4 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 36 4 5 3 4 4 5 3 4 4 36 72


Winners and Honorees[edit]

Year Player Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
2016 William McGirt  United States 273 −15 Playoff United States Jon Curran 1,530,000 Johnny Miller
2015 David Lingmerth  Sweden 273 −15 Playoff England Justin Rose 1,160,000 Nick Faldo
2014 Hideki Matsuyama  Japan 275 −13 Playoff United States Kevin Na 1,160,000 Annika Sörenstam
2013 Matt Kuchar  United States 276 −12 2 strokes United States Kevin Chappell 1,160,000 Raymond Floyd
2012 Tiger Woods (5)  United States 279 −9 2 strokes Argentina Andrés Romero
South Africa Rory Sabbatini
1,160,000 Tom Watson
2011 Steve Stricker  United States 272 −16 1 stroke United States Brandt Jobe
United States Matt Kuchar
1,160,000 Nancy Lopez
2010 Justin Rose  England 270 −18 3 strokes United States Rickie Fowler 1,080,000 Seve Ballesteros
2009 Tiger Woods (4)  United States 276 −12 1 stroke United States Jim Furyk 1,080,000 JoAnne Carner and Jack Burke, Jr.
2008 Kenny Perry (3)  United States 280 −8 2 strokes Australia Mathew Goggin
United States Jerry Kelly
England Justin Rose
Canada Mike Weir
1,080,000 Tony Jacklin, Ralph Guldahl,
Charles B. Macdonald, and Craig Wood
2007 K. J. Choi  South Korea 271 −17 1 stroke United States Ryan Moore 1,080,000 Louise Suggs and Dow Finsterwald
2006 Carl Pettersson  Sweden 276 −12 2 strokes United States Zach Johnson
United States Brett Wetterich
1,035,000 Michael Bonallack, Charles Coe, Lawson Little,
Henry Picard, Paul Runyan, and Denny Shute
2005 Bart Bryant  United States 272 −16 1 stroke United States Fred Couples 990,000 Betsy Rawls and Cary Middlecoff
2004 Ernie Els  South Africa 270 −18 4 strokes United States Fred Couples 945,000 Lee Trevino and Joyce Wethered
2003 Kenny Perry (2)  United States 275 −13 2 strokes United States Lee Janzen 900,000 Julius Boros and William C. Campbell
2002 Jim Furyk  United States 274 −14 2 strokes United States John Cook
United States David Peoples
810,000 Kathy Whitworth and Bobby Locke
2001 Tiger Woods (3)  United States 271 −17 7 strokes United States Paul Azinger
Spain Sergio García
738,000 Payne Stewart
2000 Tiger Woods (2)  United States 269 −19 5 strokes South Africa Ernie Els
United States Justin Leonard
558,000 Jack Nicklaus
1999 Tiger Woods  United States 273 −15 2 strokes Fiji Vijay Singh 459,000 Ben Hogan
1998 Fred Couples  United States 271 −17 4 strokes United States Andrew Magee 396,000 Peter Thomson
1997 Vijay Singh  Fiji 202* −14 2 strokes United States Jim Furyk
Australia Greg Norman
342,000 Gary Player
1996 Tom Watson (2)  United States 274 −14 2 strokes United States David Duval 324,000 Billy Casper
1995 Greg Norman (2)  Australia 269 −19 4 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia
United States David Duval
United States Steve Elkington
306,000 Willie Anderson, John Ball, James Braid,
Harold Hilton, and J.H. Taylor
1994 Tom Lehman  United States 268 −20 5 strokes Australia Greg Norman 270,000 Mickey Wright
1993 Paul Azinger  United States 274 −14 1 stroke United States Corey Pavin 252,000 Arnold Palmer
1992 David Edwards  United States 273 −15 Playoff United States Rick Fehr 234,000 Joseph Dey
1991 Kenny Perry  United States 273 −15 Playoff United States Hale Irwin 216,000 Babe Zaharias
1990 Greg Norman  Australia 216* E 1 stroke United States Payne Stewart 180,000 Jimmy Demaret
1989 Bob Tway  United States 277 −11 2 strokes United States Fuzzy Zoeller 160,000 Henry Cotton
1988 Curtis Strange  United States 274 −14 2 strokes South Africa David Frost
United States Hale Irwin
160,000 Patty Berg
1987 Don Pooley  United States 272 −16 3 strokes United States Curt Byrum 140,000 Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris
1986 Hal Sutton  United States 271 −17 4 strokes United States Don Pooley 100,000 Roberto De Vicenzo
1985 Hale Irwin (2)  United States 281 −7 1 stroke United States Lanny Wadkins 100,000 Chick Evans
1984 Jack Nicklaus (2)  United States 280 −8 Playoff United States Andy Bean 90,000 Sam Snead
1983 Hale Irwin  United States 281 −7 1 stroke United States Ben Crenshaw
Australia David Graham
72,000 Tommy Armour
1982 Raymond Floyd  United States 281 −7 2 strokes United States Peter Jacobsen
United States Wayne Levi
United States Roger Maltbie
United States Gil Morgan
63,000 Glenna Collett-Vare
1981 Keith Fergus  United States 284 −4 1 stroke United States Jack Renner 63,000 Harry Vardon
1980 David Graham  Australia 280 −8 1 stroke United States Tom Watson 54,000 Byron Nelson
1979 Tom Watson  United States 285 −3 3 strokes United States Miller Barber 54,000 Gene Sarazen
1978 Jim Simons  United States 284 −4 1 stroke United States Billy Kratzert 50,000 Francis Ouimet
1977 Jack Nicklaus  United States 281 −7 2 strokes United States Hubert Green 45,000 Walter Hagen
1976 Roger Maltbie  United States 288 E Playoff United States Hale Irwin 40,000 Bobby Jones

* rain-shortened to 54 holes
Note: Green highlight indicates scoring records.

Multiple winners[edit]

Six men have won the Memorial Tournament more than once through 2016.


  1. ^ a b "Course map". Memorial Tournament. 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Jack Nicklaus tribute sculpture". (Ohio): Dublin Arts Council. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Jack Nicklaus – Dublin Icon". (Ohio): City of Dublin. August 9, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Memorial Tournament and Nationwide agree to sponsorship extension through 2021". Memorial Tournament. (press release). December 15, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Roger Maltbie wins Memorial
  6. ^ "Boost to Arnie and Jack tourneys". ESPN. Associated Press. June 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ "2015–16 PGA Tour Player Handbook & Tournament Regulations" (PDF). October 5, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Life Of The Party - Hop On: Roger Maltbie tells all from inside the ropes". Golf Digest. May 2003. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  9. ^ Nicklaus wins Memorial Golf
  10. ^ Graham outlasts Watson!
  11. ^ Nicklaus wins in playoff
  12. ^ Strange rallies with 67 to claim Memorial title
  13. ^ Perry defeats Irwin in Memorial
  14. ^ GOLF; Azinger's 'Miracle' Shot From Bunker Wins by 1
  15. ^ Lehman devours Memorial
  16. ^ Another first for Woods
  17. ^ "Golf: Woods crushes Memorial field". The New Zealand Herald. June 5, 2001. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Bryant earns second career tour victory". ESPN. 
  19. ^ "K.J. Choi wins the Memorial". UPI. 
  20. ^ "Tiger Woods rallies to win Memorial, ties Jack Nicklaus with 73 PGA Tour victories". PGA of America. 
  21. ^ "Hideki Matsuyama wins the Memorial Tournament in a playoff". PGA Tour. 
  22. ^ Memorial Tournament – Winners – at
  23. ^ "Retrospective: scoreboard". Memorial Tournament. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°08′25″N 83°08′29″W / 40.1404°N 83.1414°W / 40.1404; -83.1414