Eyes turned to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club as the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance took the stage. The much-anticipated stop on the PGA Tour brought nine past winners back to Dublin, Ohio, including K.J. Choi, Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Carl Pettersson, Justin Rose, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, and 2011 winner Steve Stricker. Woods birdied three of his last four holes on the final day of the tournament to tie the Golden Bear for second all-time with 73 career PGA TOUR victories. A total score of 279 gave Woods his record fifth Memorial Tournament victory, following wins in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2009.
In a joint press conference with Woods, Nicklaus said, “I think that I just said out here a couple times, that under the circumstances, the circumstances being Tiger has been struggling, he found himself in a position in a tournament, and it was either fish or cut bait, he had one place to land the ball, he’s playing a shot that if he leaves it short, he’s going to leave himself again a very difficult shot, if he hits it long, he’s going to probably lose the tournament. He lands the ball exactly where it has to land. It doesn’t make a difference whether it went in the hole or not. Going in the hole was a bonus. But what a shot. I don’t think under the circumstances I’ve ever seen a better shot.”
Nicklaus wasn’t the only one impressed. With its stellar lineup and dramatic finish, CBS Sports’ final round coverage of the Memorial Tournament earned the highest ratings in eight years — up 138% over 2011.
The 2012 tournament honored Tom Watson, two time winner of the Memorial Tournament, with first-place finishes in 1979 and 1996. Watson’s 39 PGA TOUR victories include two Masters, a U.S. Open and a remarkable five British Open titles. His Hall of Fame golf career isn’t the only thing to earn Watson praise. Throughout his career, Watson has been a respected sportsman and ambassador for the sport. In recognition of his role not only as a champion, but also as an ambassador and devoted caretaker of the game of golf, Watson was selected to the Memorial Tournament’s Captains Club in 2009. He has helped raise more than $15 million for various charities, including Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital and for the development of golf courses for junior players.
The 2013 Memorial Tournament Honoree will be Raymond Floyd. Playing with charisma and intense passion, Floyd captured 22 PGA TOUR titles, highlighted by four major championships. He also won the 1982 Memorial Tournament during a TOUR career that spanned from 1963 to 1992. Floyd’s name appeared at the top of leaderboards in four decades, fueled by his strengths: a superb short game and a steely mental toughness. He is widely considered one of the greatest chippers to ever play the game.
The 2013 Memorial Tournament will be played May 27-June 2 at Muirfield Village Golf Club, which has been home to the prestigious tournament since 1976. Muirfield Village Golf Club was the dream and work of Jack Nicklaus, in association with Desmond Muirhead. The golf course is situated on 220 acres, which includes an 11-acre driving range. The course was officially dedicated on Memorial Day, May 27, 1974, with an exhibition match between Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. Nicklaus scored a six-under par 66, which stood as the course record until 1979. The course has consistently ranked in the Top 20 in the United States and Top 50 in the world since it opened.