Hosted annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, The Memorial Tournament had been part of Jack Nicklaus’ plans for Muirfield Village Golf Club right from the beginning. The name, Memorial Tournament, was derived from Nicklaus’ desire to theme the tournament around a person or persons, living or deceased, who have contributed to the game of golf. In addition, he also wanted to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world.
The Muirfield Village Golf Course, designed by Jack Nicholas and Desmond Muirhead, was officially dedicated on Memorial Day, May 27, 1974. It was closed and underwent major renovations after the 2020 Memorial Tournament. Every green complex was redone, bunkers were enlarged and deepened, and some positions of greens were moved. The course is a par 72 and plays at 7571 yards. The fairways and greens are bent grass, and the rough is bluegrass and rye grass. Nicklaus called this renovation “his final bite at the apple”, implying this would be the final major renovation in his lifetime.
The 2023 Memorial Tournament is a PGA Tour designated event. The Memorial offered up a total purse of $20 million to the 65 golfers who made the cut. Each of the top-three finishers saw seven figures hit their bank account. After a one hole playoff, Viktor Hovland claimed $3.6 million for himself which was slightly more than Brooks Koepka’s $3.15 million payday at the PGA Championship and Jon Rahm’s $3.24 million check from the Masters. Second place finisher Denny McCarthy claimed $2.18 million and 3rd Place finisher Scottie Scheffler claimed $1.38 million. FedEx Cup points awarded were 1st place 550, 2nd place 315 and 3rd Place 200.
Here’s the scoreboard going into the final round – Tied for 1st place were Si Woo Kim -6, David Lipsky -6, and Rory McIlroy -6. Tied for 4th place were Denny McCarthy -5, Wyndham Clark -5, Viktor Hovland -5, Mark Hubbard -5, and Lee Hodges -5. As the final twosome headed to the first tee, the leaderboard had picked up a few familiar names. Rickie Fowler -5 and Scottie Scheffler -5 who were both just starting the back nine.
The early tee times were watching the leaderboard hoping to post a score that could hold up, but they were having trouble separating themselves from the pack. McIlroy -7 moved into sole 1st place with a chip in on the 4th hole while Scheffler -6 moved into a tie for 2nd with a birdie on the “dreaded” 16th Par 3. McIlroy -6 bogeyed the 5th hole Par 5 leaving Scheffler -7 alone in 1st place. McCarthy -7 moves into tie for 1st place with birdie on the 6th. Scheffler -6 bogeyed the 17th. McIlroy -7 birdied the 6th tied with McCarthy -7. Scottie Scheffler (67) -6 was the Leader in the clubhouse. McIlroy -5 bogeys the 7th and 8th. Kim -7 birdied the 8th.
The leaderboard as the last twosome reaches the 10th tee. 1st McCarthy -8. 2nd Kim -8. 3rd Scheffler (67), -6, Clark -6. 5th McIlroy -5. The back nine here at the Muirfield Village Golf Course has shown just how tough this course can be as the majority of the movement on the leaderboard was downward. Only Denny McCarthy -8 and Scottie Scheffler (67) -6 have been able to hold their positions on the board. McIlroy -3 has bogeyed the 12th, 13th, and 14th. Hovland -7 birdied the 17th to move into 2nd place 1 stroke behind McCarthy -8. McCarthy-7 bogeyed the 18th hole to force a playoff between him and Viktor Hovland -7.
The playoff hole started with McCarthy missing the fairway on his drive. Hovland drove his drive to the left side of the fairway. McCarthy left his 2nd shot just short of the green. Hovland placed his 2nd shot on the lower right side of the green. McCarthy’s chip shot settled 12’ from the cup. Hovland’s 1st Putt came up about 4 feet short. McCarthy rimmed his 12’ par putt leaving Hovland with a 4’ putt for the win.
CBS Golf Reporter Amanda Renner asked Viktor, “What are you most proud of with yourself today?” He quickly replied, “Just playing smart. I didn’t really feel like I hit my best the whole week. I just played really smart, played conservatively, and really relied on my short game. I putted it awesome this week so it’s fun to to win one of these things without, you know, just ball striking it to death. Now I can kind of rely on some other strengths as well.”
Viktor Hovland joined the PGA Tour in 2020. He’s originally from Oslo Norway and attended Oklahoma State University. He currently has 3 Career Wins, and 6 Top Ten Finishes in the 2022-2023 season. His official Career Earnings are $18,403,977. Victor Hovland will add another $3.6 million to that earning’s total.