May 28 2013
Tiger Woods will be playing with Keegan Bradley and Fred Couples for two days. (Heathcote/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Village Golf Club hosts a pair of prestigious events on the PGA TOUR calendar this year.
First is this week's Memorial Tournament, which annually attracts a standout field of 120 of the game's best players from around the world. The second, though, comes in October when the Presidents Cup visits for the 10th renewal of the popular match play competition that pits a team of 12 players from the U.S. against a similar squad of International stars.
So it's easy to see why three of this week's Featured Groups have a distinctly Presidents Cup-feel. Here are the ones PGATOUR.COM is watching -- let us know your favorite groups in the Comments section below.
Tiger Woods-Keegan Bradley-Fred Couples: This group features Woods, the defending champion who has won the Memorial Tournament five times and leads the U.S. Presidents Cup standings, as well as Bradley, who ranks fifth and was second at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, his sixth top-10 of the year. Neither probably needs to impress the third member of their group, Fred Couples, who will captain the U.S. team and seeks a third straight win.
Matt Kuchar-Hunter Mahan-Webb Simpson: Kuchar, who ranks third in the Presidents Cup standings and won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, comes to Muirfield Village with momentum after a runner-up finish at Colonial. But Mahan, who standings sixth in the Presidents Cup, is looking for his first top-10 in eight starts since he was second to Kuchar at Dove Mountain. Simpson, who is one rung behind Mahan, has finished sixth or better in four of his last 10 starts, including a playoff loss at the RBC Heritage.
Adam Scott-Charl Schwartzel-Ernie Els: This group features three former Presidents Cup teammates in Scott, Schwartzel and Els, who currently rank Nos. 1, 3 and 4 in the standings for Nick Price's team. Earlier this year, Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters and he has two other top-10 finishes in six starts this year. Schwartzel's best finish this season is third, accomplished twice at the Northern Trust Open and HP Byron Nelson Championship. The veteran Els, who came from behind to beat Scott and win his fourth major last year at the British Open, is a former Memorial champ.
Rory McIlroy-Bubba Watson-Justin Rose: Watson is the only one in this group who is eligible for the Presidents Cup -- he faced his two playing partners in the Ryder Cup. Watson, who ranks 10th in the U.S. standings, hasn't had a top-10 since the Accenture Match Play Championship while Rose, who won the Memorial in 2010, has three top-10s this year but none since he finished second at Bay Hill. Meanwhile, McIlroy has top-10s in three of his last four starts, including the last two.