HARTFORD, Conn. – Golf fans will finally get to see Tiger Woods in action again this week.
Not surprisingly, Woods decided to end a five-month layoff in the Memorial Tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, which is also hosted lastweek’s Workday Charity Open, a replacement for the canceled John Deere Classic, won by Collin Morikawa in a playoff over Justin Thomas.
Woods, who hasn’t played since the Genesis Invitational in February, will shoot for his 83rd PGA Tour victory, which would break a tie with Hall of Famer Sam Snead. It also would provide another ironic twist. Woods notched his 73rd career win to tie Nicklaus for second on the all-time list when he won a record fifth Memorial title in 2012.
This will be Woods’ third attempt at No. 83 since capturing the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Japan in October. In his previous tries, Woods tied for ninth in the Farmers Insurance Open and 68th in the Genesis Invitational. Woods will make his 18th tournament start after tying for ninth in 2019.
Woods’ return also means Newtown native Joe LaCava will be back at work. LaCava has caddied for Woods for 11 years.
The 133-man field, which begins play Thursday, also includes the top five in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who has four top-10 finishes in the tournament. No. 2 Jon Rahm has made only one start, missing the cut in 2017, while No. 3 Dustin Johnson will make his 12th appearance in his first PGA Tour start since winning the Travelers Championship on June 28 for his 21st career title. No. 4 and FedExCup leader Webb Simpson and No. 5 Justin Thomas also are in the field.
The Memorial Tournament is the third event of six since the PGA Tout season resumed on June 11 that includes each of the top five players in the rankings, with the Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Heritage being the first two. The Travelers Championship had the top seven and nine of the top 10 ranked players in the world before Simpson and then-No. 4 Brooks Koepka withdrew because of precautions from the coronavirus pandemic.
Twenty-six players who qualified for the 2019 Tour Championship are in the field (the most of any event this season), including Bryson DeChambeau, who is No. 4 in the FedExCup standings. DeChambeau has seven consecutive top-10s and is the only player to finish in the top 10 in each event since the season resumed, highlighted by a win in his last start at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He skipped this week’s Workday Charity Open.
The Memorial Tournament was scheduled to be the first event since the restart of play to have a limited 8,000 spectators, but that changed on Monday because of a spike in the coronavirus. Six weeks and seven events remain until the start of the FedExCup playoffs, the culmination of the 2019-2020 season.
Tournament coverage in the United States is available on Golf Channel and CBS. Additionally, PGA TOUR LIVE, the PGA TOUR’s Over-The-Top subscription service, can be viewed via subscription on NBC Sports Gold (www.nbcsports.com/pgatour) and Amazon Prime Video Channels (amazon.com/video/pgatourlive). Audio coverage is also available on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio (Sirius 208, XM 92), and streams free via www.pgatour.com.