Memorial Tournament at Murifield Village Golf Club, Dublin, OH
1. Phil Mickelson
2. Stewart Cink
3. Rory McIlroy
4. Justin Rose
5. Matt Kuchar
Things are shaky in Columbus, OH right now. As we prepare for Jack Nicklaus' tournament (The Memorial) at Murifield Village Golf Club, the heart and soul of Ohio's capital is hurting.
Following NCAA investigations into the Ohio State Football team, head coach Jim Tressel has resigned from his 10-year reign as czar of football in Columbus. The Sweater Vest, known mostly for his deep religous views and integrity-laden coach speak, is being lauded as a fraud across the country after the NCAA's investigation uncovered improper benefits given to Tressel's Buckeye players in the name of tattoos, weed and cars. In the end, Tressel's ignorance and cover-up of the allegations are what did him in.
In other words, The Memorial couldn't be rolling into Columbus at a better time, for all Ohio State alum and fans alike are looking for a welcomed distraction. They don't get Tiger Woods to distract them this year, but the field is still stacked with nine defending champions, 18 major winners, nine of the top-ten players in the FedEx Cup standings and players from 19 different countries.
It may not be Ohio State football on a Saturday afternoon, but even that is going to lose a bit of luster over the next 3-5 years, depending on how harshly the NCAA punishes Ohio State for their infractions.
Who better to represent Columbus, OH and The Ohio State University than one of its greatest alum's, Jack Nicklaus. No need to go into what Nicklaus means for OSU and the game of golf, we all know his impact, but when a city is mourning, it looks to its heroes to lift them from their depression. I should know, I'm from Ohio... we do it all the time. All Ohio sports fans seem to have is their memory of the good ol' days, or lack thereof for Clevelanders.
The Memorial is a special tournament and with a field as good as this, it's appointment TV. Woods may not be there, but Phil Mickelson is. Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, KJ Choi, Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Bubba Watson will be there.
The only thing that could make the tournament better is if Nicklaus decided to lace up his golf shoes, grab his wooden clubs, and torch the field one last time.