Bo Van Pelt
Muirfield Village Golf Club was the dream of Nicklaus and Desmond Muirhead, they acquired the land back in 1966 but construction didn’t begin until July 1972. The golf course, which is situated on 220 acres and was officially opened for play on Memorial Day 1974 with an exhibition match between Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf.
Muirfield Village currently sits in Golf Digest's "America's 100 Greatest Courses," at number 17. After recent changes the course now measures 7,221 and has 71 bunkers and water comes into play on 11 holes.
The Memorial Tournament has grown into one of golf's major tournaments and Muirfield Village Golf Club, which is controlled by Jack Nicklaus, makes changes to the course each autumn in order to keep up with new technology.
In recent years changes have included lengthening several holes, including the first, tenth, twelfth and seventeenth, adding or removing bunkers, re-routing a stream on the eighteenth. In 2007, the par-three 8th and the par five 15th were both lengthened and bunkers on the 1st re-shaped and deepened to the hole tougher.
My tips to win:
We have tipped last yearís defending champion now for the last month or so and I see no reason why we shouldnít be tipping Matt Kuchar 14/1 again this week. Matt missed his second cut of the year last week which was a surprise to everyone, but I am sure he will want to put that right this week and as defending champion and someone whoís not been outside the Top 10 every year he has teed it up in this event since 2008, I donít think he is going to let that record go lightly and I expect the Koooch to be challenging again come Sunday.
Justin Rose 16/1 is another player that seems to enjoy playing in the Memorial Tournament. Justin has a win here in 2010 and a runners-up in 2008 and has two other Top 10 finishes since his win here. Rose has had three Top 10 finishes in his last three outings on the PGA Tour. And although he didnít play that well at the BMW PGA Championship last week, he still managed a Top 25 place. Two weeks out from defending his US Open title, I expect the lad from Hampshire to be in the thick of it again come Sunday.
Jim Furyk 25/1 has had a win here in 2002 and two other runners-up finishes and has only finished outside the Top 25 once since his last runners-up placing in 2009, which is a great track record here, and add to that his recent form of four Top 10 finishes from his last six events, including another runners-up finish at the Players Championship, and you can see why we are tipping here this week.
My each-way tips:
I have been watching Bill Haas 50/1 for the last couple of weeks and I feel he is about to come back into form. Itís not been the greatest of years for the lad from Charlotte, North Carolina, itís just steady with ten Top 25 finishes from his sixteen starts, and he has only made the Top 10 twice this season. On closer inspection at those figures Haas is just one good round away from challenging. Bill has not had much luck on this course until last year when he made the Top 5 and I think he will be targeting that kind of finish here this week.
Another player who enjoys playing at the Memorial Tournament and has just come into some good form is Bo Van Pelt 66/1. Bo is another player who hasnít been outside the Top 25 here since 2010 and with his Top 15 finish at last weekís Crown Plaza Invitational, and another Top 25 at the Zurich Classic where he shot a second round 63, shows that the lad from Richmond, Indiana could be challenging here this week.
My outside tip:
I am going to be sticking with Brian Davis 125/1 again this week, the third week on the spin, two Top 15 finishes from his last three events and started the Crown Plaza Invitational playing some great golf. Davis had a Top 10 finish here last year, in fact he has not been outside the Top 25 since 2011, and in the form the American based Cockney is in, I can see him challenging for the money places this week and at these odds thatís got to be worth a quid each-way.
As always good luck