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The Memorial Tournament

Tournament Preview


Want to win the US Open in two weeks? Make sure you play terribly at the Memorial Tournament, which begins Thursday at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Want proof? None of the top 10 players at last year's Memorial made the Top 10 at the US Open. Not a one.

Among those from a year ago was current world No. 1 Tiger Woods, who won his fifth Memorial title in 2012, then finished tied for 21st at the US Open.

Seven of the current Top 10 players, including Woods and No. 3 Rory McIlroy will be on hand starting Thursday in search of the 500 FedEx Cup points and $1,116,000 winner's share.

The Jack-Nickalus designed course is entering its 40th year. Its a par 72, 7,386-yard course. Tom Lehman set the tournament record with a 20-under 268 in 1994.

First tee time is at 7:20 a.m. EDT on Thursday, with the trio of Jason Day, Matt Jones and Nicolas Colsaerts leading off.

World No. 5 Brandt Snedeker is the first big fish on the course, teeing off at 8:26 a.m.

McIlroy is ont he course at 8:26 a.m. along with Bubba Watson and Justin Rose, while back-to-back impressive American trios start after lunch.

Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan take flight at 1:05 p.m., folllowed by Woods, Keegan Bradley and Fred Couples at 1:16 p.m.

05/30/13, Thursday


South Africa's Charl Schwartzel was hardly the name on anyone's mind when picking a favorite for the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwisde Insurance before the  beginning onf Thursday's first round.

Now suddenly everyone's trying to figure out how to spell and pronounce his moniker.

The 28-year-old native of Johannesburg overcame a double bogey on No. 8 thanks to 10 birdies, including two streches of four straight to fire a 7-under 65 and tlead the tournament that Jack Nickalus built after one day.

Schwartzel birdied No. 4-7 and 14-17 to make up for the double on No. 8 and a bogey on No. 13. He has a one-stroke lead on American Scott Piercy and a two-stroke lead over four other men, three Americans - Josh Teater, Russell Henley and Kyle Stanley and Korea's Charli Wi.


05/31/13, Friday


Rain and the threat of more rain suspended play for most of the field at the Memorial on Friday, but American Bill Haas finished his round and found himself at the top of the leader board thanks to it.

Haas fired a 5-under 67 to climb to 9-under after two days, giving him a three-stroke lead over his closest competitors.

Haas was deadly on the front nine, with an eagle sandwiched between two birdies in a three-hole stretch between No. 4 and 6. He bogeyed 12 and 18 to come back down to earth, but still tallied five birdies on the day.

His round gives him a three-stroke lead over fellow Americans Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Kyle Stanley, along with Day One leader Charl Schwartzel of South Africa.
Schartwzel was 1-over through 15 on Friday when forced to leave the field, but had birdied two of his last five holes before the weather delay.

Kuchar finished the day 2-under thanks to a pair of late birdies, while Watson was a red-hot 5-under through No. 14, with six birdies on the day.

American Tiger Woods also finished his round, but probably wished he hadn't. Woods shot a 2-over 74 to finish the day 1-over for the tournament, tied for a distant 46th place.

After two birdies on the front nine, Woods hit a double bogey seven on No. 15.

Woods is expected to make the cut which will take place Saturday after all second rounds have been completed.

06/01/13, Saturday

Matt Kuchar was the leader in the clubhouse after Saturday's third round of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, but he was hardly the most talked-about American in the field.

That unfortunate "honor" went to Tiger Woods, who had the worst 9-hole span of his career, needing 44 strokes to complete the front nine on his way to a 7-over 79 that included a triple bogey and two double bogeys.

The five-time champion at this tournament, Woods is a staggering 16 strokes back with one round to go.

Meanwhile Kuchar, who started the day two strokes off the lead, found himself with a two-stroke lead of his own after firing a 2-under 70 to reach 8-under on the weekend.

Kuchar shot up the charts while Friday's leader, Bill Haas, was headed in the opposite direction, staggering to a 4-over to drop to 5-under on the day, tied for fourth with Australia's Matt Jones and South Africa's Justin Rose.

Haas had five bogeys and only one birdie to end the round with a 76 after putting up a 68 and a 67 the previous two days.

Kuchar has a two stroke lead over fellow Americans Kevin Chappell and Kyle Stanley.

Chappell fired a 4-under 68, coming alive with three straight birdies on 5-7.

Day One leader Charl Schwartzel continued his downward slide, shooting a 4-over 76 to tumble to 4-under for the tournament, tying him for seventh.

World No. 3 Rory McIlroy wasn't as bad as Woods on Saturday, but he wasn't much better, shooting a 3-over 75 to fall to 6-over, tied for 64th. McIlroy bogeyed No. 1 and doubled No. 3 to dig himself an early hole.

At 7-over for the day, Woods is 8-over for the tournament, tied for 69th among a post-cut field of 73 players. After his miserable first nine, Woods birdied No. 1, 2 and 5 to get back 5-over for the day, but two more birdies destroyed his momentum.
 
06/02/13, Sunday

While the naysayers were busy painting doom and gloom for Tiger Woods' future on Sunday, Matt Kuchar was going out and playing some of his best golf of the season.

Kuchar fired a 4-under 68 to capture the title at the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, rising to No. 4 in the world with the victory that earned him 500 FedEx Points and a check for $1,116,000.

A 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 gave Kuchar the victory, wrecking any chances fellow American Kevin Chappell had of forcing a playoff. Chappell also shot a 4-under 68 to finish 10-under for the weekend, two strokes behind Kuchar.

Kuchar, who also led after Day 3, was the picture of consistency, with six birdies and two bogeys.

Chappell parred the first 12 holes, then notched four birdies over the final six holes to make things interesting down the stretch, particularly when Kuchar bogeyed No. 16 while Chapell birdied 15, 17 and 18.

American Kyle Stanley finished third with a 7-under 281, followed by Scott Stallings and Bill Haas in a tie for fourth at 6-under.

Day 1 leader Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who fired the best round of the tournament on the first day, a 7-under 65, fired a par to finish 4-under and finish tied for eighth with Michael Thompson, Brian Davis, Pat Perez and Justin Rose.

The aforementioned Woods shot a par 72 to finish 8-over and tied for 65th, his worst-ever finish on tour.
 
Tournament Recap

Tiger Woods' miserable weekend overshadows Kuchar's success at Memorial
 
Of all the rounds shot at the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, over the past four days, the one that got the most attention was one of the worst.

Tiger Woods 7-over 79 on Day Three got far more attention than Charl Schwartzel's Day One 1 65 or Matt Kuchar's 68 on Day 4 that won him the tournament and $1.1 million with it.

The 34-year-old Kuchar has been simply spectacular in 2013, with seven Top 10 finishes. Memorial was his second win, following the WGC: Accenture Match in February, and comes on the heels of his second-place finish at the Colonial.

Americans took the Top 5 spots in the tournament, with Kuchar followed by Kevin Chappell (-10), Kyle Stanley (-7), Scott Stallings (-6) and Bill Haas (-6).

Stallings tied for the best round of the day, a 5-under 67, heating up early with a run of five straight birdies between No. 4 and 8, but cooling off with two bogeys in his last three holes.

American James Driscoll also shot a 67 on Sunday, piling up seven birdies before faltering with a double bogey 6 on No. 18.

Woods ended up with an 8-over 296, almost all of that coming with his miserable 79 on Thursday. Woods earned $12,896 for tying for 65th place.

Former No. 1 Rory McIlroy struggled as well, finishing tied for 57th with a 6-over 294.

 His worst day was Thursday, when he piled up six bogeys and one double bogey for a 6-over 78.
 



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