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Who is playing in the 2023 Memorial Tournament? Field, top players, and predictions

The Memorial Tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is taking place this week at Muirfield Village, a course that seems perfectly designed to host the US Open.

Abraham Ancer plays his shot from the ninth fairway during the second round of the Memorial Tournament.
Aaron DosterUSA TODAY Sports

The Memorial Tournament, held annually since 1976, is a prestigious professional golf event on the PGA Tour. It is hosted by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, who designed and built the tournament’s host venue, Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Dublin, Ohio. The tournament is officially known as “the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday” and is considered one of the premier events on the PGA Tour schedule.

The Memorial Tournament typically happens in late May or early June, drawing many of the world’s top golfers. It offers a significant purse and awards valuable FedEx Cup points. The tournament features a four-round stroke play format, with a cut made after the second round to determine the players who will compete in the weekend rounds. The Memorial Tournament is among the limited five tournaments granted “invitational” status by the PGA Tour. As a result, the tournament’s field is restricted to only 120 players.

Jack Nicklaus designed Muirfield Village Golf Club to create a venue that emulates the feel of the famed Scottish course, Muirfield. The tournament serves as a tribute to the memory of those who have contributed significantly to the sport of golf. Additionally, it supports charitable initiatives through the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.

The Memorial Tournament has become renowned for its rich history, strong field, demanding course, and high level of competition. Notable golfers such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy have all won the tournament, cementing its status as a premier event on the PGA Tour.

2023 Memorial Tournament: top players and predictions

The upcoming golf tournament will see Billy Horschel defending his 2022 title after securing a remarkable victory with a stunning eagle putt on the 15th hole last year. Despite holding a commanding five-shot lead at the start of the day, Horschel maintained his advantage by carding an even-par 72 on one of the PGA Tour’s most challenging courses. His final score of 13-under 275 earned him a well-deserved triumph and a hefty prize of $2.16 million. The event also secured a three-year PGA Tour exemption for the talented golfer.

However, Horschel will face tough competition from world-class players, including Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, two-time champion Patrick Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, and Xander Schauffele. With such accomplished golfers, the event promises an exciting and highly competitive showdown, elevating it to a status akin to a major tournament.

The upcoming tournament will be held at Muirfield Village, which rewards accuracy off the tee. This characteristic plays to the strengths of Viktor Hovland, who showcased his potential to win a major at Oak Hill. In contrast, Rory McIlroy has struggled to succeed at Muirfield Village due to difficulties in consistently finding fairways. Despite leading the driving distance statistics with an average of 326.2 yards, McIlroy’s accuracy has suffered, hitting just 49.49% of fairways. This issue may prove harmful to his performance in the upcoming tournament.

With such an exceptional lineup and the demanding nature of Muirfield Village, spectators can expect an enthralling competition where precision off the tee will be pivotal in determining the champion.