The biggest story in the world of golf is Tiger Woods and his Monday morning DUI arrest. Woods was found a few miles south of his Jupiter home, asleep at the wheel with two flat tires and bumper damage. When awoken, Woods was disoriented and clearly intoxicated. His breathalyzer test came in at 0.00 – the disorientation was reportedly from a mixture of pharmaceuticals, which he says are for his recovering back. Where he was headed to or coming from is unknown, but it’s another low point in the superstar’s plummet from invincibility.
From one great to another
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour is at Muirfield Village in Ohio this week for Jack Nicklaus’ annual Memorial Tournament. Many of the game’s top stars will be in attendance – headlining the event are six of the world’s top 10, including Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, and Adam Scott. Rory McIlroy will miss this week’s event with a persistent rib injury. Full field and tee times
Last year, William McGirt and Jon Curran treated fans to free golf after each finished 72 holes at 15-under, one better than third-place finisher Dustin Johnson. The Wofford alum, McGirt, was able to win when Curran airmailed the green on their second playoff hole.
Columbus’ Muirfield Village is one of the Tour’s strongest stops and one of Jack Nicklaus’ earliest designs (with the aid of Desmond Muirhead). The Memorial is your quintessential second shot golf course where precise shots are rewarded and average shots will face difficult two putts and par saves.
DJ and Rahmbo
The World No. 1 and the young gun are the names to watch, as each will look to add a big pelt to their resume. Since Jon Rahm turned pro at last year’s Quicken Loans National, both have notched 8 top-five finishes, the most of any player. I expect both to be in the mix come Sunday on this demanding golf course.
Jack’s event is always filled with some interesting names who aren’t yet regulars on the PGA Tour. This year is no different with former U.S. Amateur Champions Peter Uihlein and Curtis Luck in the field, as well as Australian youngster Ryan Ruffels. The former Oklahoma State star Uihlein will make his third PGA Tour start of the season in what’s becoming his strongest campaign of his young career. Uihlein has made the cut in all 12 of his worldwide starts, notching top 5’s in three of them. The reigning U.S. Am champion Luck makes his fourth start as a professional and will look to improve on last week’s T34 at Colonial. The 19-year-old Australian phenom Ruffels has been playing on the Latin American Tour and will look to make an impression and earn more starts on the PGA Tour.
This week Paulie is pushing in his chips on players who boast strong mid-iron play. Check out who he likes and who he doesn’t this week at Muirfield Village.
Down to 2
The NCAA Men’s Golf Championship is down to its final two teams, with the Oklahoma Sooners squaring off against the defending champion Oregon Ducks in the finals. The Sooners got to the championship by beating conference rival Baylor in the quarterfinals, before knocking off the hometown favorite Illinois in the semis. Meanwhile, the Ducks looked like they would miss the match play portion with a slow start in stroke play but used a Monday surge to move from 13th to a tie for fifth, securing a spot in the bracket. Oregon’s hot play continued with them beating Oklahoma State in the first round and knocking off the stroke play winners (and heavy favorite) Vanderbilt to reach the finals. The finals will be broadcast on Golf Channel from 4 to 8 p.m. ET.
Why you should watch
Over the week, the NCAAs has worked its way up my list of favorite golf tournaments and is now squarely in my top five. The event is filled with some of tomorrow’s PGA Tour stars and the final should be a good one – each team is strong from players 1-5. Oklahoma is spearheaded by U.S. Amateur runner-up Brad Dalke and senior leader Max McGreevy, but they also tout long-hitting Rylee Reinertson, who records clubhead speeds north of 130 and ball speeds that can get reach 190. Oregon is headed up by the nation’s top-ranked player, Wyndham Clark, top freshman Norman Xiong and the always-clutch Sulman Raza, who has won in the anchor position in four straight matches, including last year’s national championship.
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