May 31 2011
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- You needed a boat, not a golf cart, to play Muirfield Village Golf Club last Thursday after nearly an inch of rain pummeled the prized property.
"We were actually saying it was Lake Muirfield," said Jack Nicklaus, the famed founder and architect of this signature layout.
Thursday's deluge was on top of the more than 12 inches that had fallen in the greater Columbus area since the beginning of April. In comparison, that's twice the total for the same two months last year.
With sunshine and 90-degree temperatures in the five days since the latest onslaught, though, Muirfield Village has recovered well. And the weather forecast appears to be cooperating for this week's Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
"I went back out on Friday, and I was amazed," Nicklaus said. "I played the golf course, I thought the golf course was really pretty good Friday, then it just started getting better each week or each day. The golf course is terrific."
Defending champion Justin Rose played nine holes on Tuesday, then headed into the air-conditioning for his pre-tournament interview session. He agreed with Nicklaus' assessment.
"(I) heard how much rain they've had, and no doubt the rough in some areas is a little squidgy, but the golf course is every bit as you expect it to be this time of year," Rose said. "Greens are looking fantastic, fairways are relatively firm considering it's rained something like 28 out of 31 days or something crazy.
"Course is in perfect shape."