Preview: Tiger Woods at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
May 29, 2019
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- May 29, 2019
All-time shots at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
With one more win, Tiger Woods will tie Sam Snead for most career PGA TOUR victories at 82. Each time Tiger tees it up, we’ll take a look at his chances for that particular week. Here’s a CHASING 82 preview entering this week’s the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
Since winning the Masters in April, Woods has made just one start – two weeks ago at the PGA Championship. He entered as the favorite but ultimately missed the cut, as the month-long stretch between starts may have left some rust on his game.
Presumably, rust should not be an issue this week at Muirfield Village. Tournament host Jack Nicklaus certainly doesn’t think it will be a factor.
“I don't think he's going to let that happen again,” Nicklaus said on Tuesday. “I think that was a wake-up call again for him. And I expect him to play very well this week. And I think he always plays well here.”
Yes, he does. See below.
Woods is making his 17th career start at the Memorial. Suffice to say that his first 16 appearances have been very productive. He’s won five times at Muirfield Village, including three straight from 1999-2001 when he played 12 consecutive rounds under par.
During another three-year stretch, this time from 2003-05, Woods finished inside the top 5 each time, with 10 of his 12 rounds under par.
Woods also won in 2009 and 2012, but his last three starts haven’t been as impressive. In 2013, he finished T-65, shooting a third-round 79. Two years later, he was last among all players who made the cut, shooting 85-74 on the weekend. That third-round 85 is the highest score he’s ever recorded on the PGA TOUR since turning pro; his only other 85 came during his amateur days at the 1995 U.S. Open.
Last year, Woods played much better, finishing T-23 and shooting par or better in every round.
WINS AT MUIRFIELD VILLAGE
1999 – Tiger’s first win at Memorial was the ninth of his TOUR career. He grabbed the 36-hole lead with a 66, and then held off Vijay Singh over the weekend for a two-stroke victory. Said Singh: “I played better golf than Tiger did today. And he won.”
2000 – Another low second-round – this time a 63 – again gave Woods the lead heading into the weekend. After a third-round 65, he led by six shots and cruised to a five-shot win to successfully defend his title.
2001 – Woods entered the final round one shot behind 54-hole leader Paul Azinger but ended up winning a third straight Memorial by seven shots. Woods shot a final-round 66 – the second-lowest score on Sunday -- to Azinger’s 74.
2009 – Woods trailed by four shots entering the final round but posted a 65 – hitting every fairway in the final round, a first in his career – to beat Jim Furyk by a stroke.
2012 – Again, Woods faced a four-stroke deficit entering Sunday – his third-round 73 dropping him down the leaderboard – but he rallied with a 67, which tied for the low score of the day. It was the 73rd win of his TOUR career, tying Jack Nicklaus on the all-time wins list. “Boy,” Nicklaus joked Nicklaus, “he had to rub it in my face right here, didn’t he?”
Tiger will tee off Thursday at 8:26 a.m. ET off the 10th tee and 1:16 p.m. ET off the first tee on Friday’s second round. His playing partners are Justin Rose and defending champion Bryson DeChambeau.
TIGER DISCUSSES MUIRFIELD VILLAGE
“I've always enjoyed coming here. I've always tried to play at Jack's events. What he's meant to the TOUR and he's meant to all of us has players, I've always tried to support his events and I just happened to play well on his golf courses too. So that helps.
“Whether it's here or most of the Nicklaus Design courses that we play, I seem to play them well. But this one in particular is very special to him, it's very special to us as players. Obviously because of what he's done to the golf course, but more so what he's meant to us as players.”