Here’s “This Week in Golf”, a summary of the top golfing action courtesy of offshore sportsbook, Bookmaker.com.
PGA TOUR - THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT, Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio
The PGA Tour shifts from Hogan’s Alley, Colonial, to Jack’s Place, Muirfield Village, this week. Jack Nicklaus hosts The Memorial Tournament and he brings out the big names. Four of the top five players in the world are competing at Muirfield Village this week, as are eight of the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list. World No.1 Tiger Woods is scheduled to return to action this week after taking three weeks off with a neck injury, which caused him to withdraw during the final round of the Players Championship. Woods’ win at Muirfield last year was his fourth at this tournament. There will be seven other former winners in the field this week, including three- time champ Kenny Perry. All four reigning major champions are playing this week and are among 18 major winners in the field.Woods closed with rounds of 68-65 last year to beat 2002 champ Jim Furyk by a single stroke. Ernie Els, the 2004 winner, has played this tournament every year since 1994. When he won in 2004, he joined Nicklaus and Tom Watson as the only three players to win at Muirfield Village and win the British Open at Muirfield in Scotland. Els won six top-10 finishes and has missed the cut just once since 1994.
The Golf Channel will cover Thursday and Friday’s action before CBS takes over on the weekend. The PGA Tour heads to Memphis next week for the St. Jude Classic, where Brian Gay won last year by five strokes.
EUROPEAN TOUR CELTIC MANOR WALES OPEN, The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales
Jeppe Huldahl broke through for his first European Tour win at the Wales Open last year. Not only was it Huldahl’s first win, but it was the first time in over 40 tournaments that Huldahl even finished in the top 10. He went seven-under par on the weekend to earn a one-stroke win over Niclas Fasth. Last week’s winner Luke Donald headlines the field this week. Donald tops a solid field as many big names are playing here because Celtic Manor is also hosting the Ryder Cup in October. European team captain Colin Montgomerie is teeing it up this week along with 11 other players that have competed in at least one of the last four Ryder Cups for the European squad. Those 11 include - Donald, Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Niclas Fasth, Soren Hansen, David Howell, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley, Phillip Price and Oliver Wilson.Along with Huldahl, there are five other past champions in the field — Scott Strange, Jimenez, Simon Khan, Paul Lawrie and McGinley.
The Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds. Michael Hoey picked up his first European Tour win last year at the Estoril Open de Portugal and is expected to defend his title in an event that is being played two months later than it was last year.
CHAMPIONS TOUR PRINCIPAL CHARITY CLASSIC, Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines, Iowa
It took four extra holes last year, but Mark McNulty finally claimed his seventh victory on the Champions Tour. McNulty faced Fred Funk and Nick Price in the extra session. They all parred the first hole, before Price fell out with a par on the second extra hole. Funk and McNulty parred the third playoff hole, then McNulty birdied the fourth hole of the playoff to finally seal the win. For the third straight year and for the fifth time in the last six seasons, this event follows the season’s first major, the Senior PGA Championship. Tom Lehman earned his first Champions Tour major at the Senior PGA last weekend as Fred Couples and David Frost both made a mess of the first playoff hole. Lehman pulled out of this event after the win, but Couples and Frost are in the field this week to try and dethrone McNulty as the champion.
The Golf Channel has early evening coverage of all three rounds. After a two-week break, the Champions Tour heads to New York for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, where Lonnie Nielsen won last season with a tournament scoring record of 21-under 195.
NATIONWIDE TOUR MELWOOD PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY OPEN, The University of Maryland Golf Course, College Park, Maryland
Mathias Gronberg fired four rounds of 69 or better to finally earn his first win on the Nationwide Tour at The Country Club at Woodmore last year. Gronberg is in the field this week to defend his title and try to become the first player to win the same Nationwide Tour event in back-to-back years. After three years at The Country Club at Woodmore, the tournament shifts to the University of Maryland Golf Course this year. The University course will host the tournament for two years.Fred Funk, the Terrapins former head golf coach, is again serving as the honorary co-chair.
The Golf Channel will have over nine hours of coverage throughout the week. The Nationwide Tour is off next week, then returns the following week in Arkansas with the Fort Smith Classic, where Jason Enloe won last year.
CANADIAN TOUR TIMES COLONISST OPEN, Uplands Golf Club, Victoria, British Columbia
Byron Smith closed with rounds of 66-64 to earn a three-stroke win over Jim Rutledge and amateur Brady Johnson last year. For Smith, it was his third victory on the Canadian Tour. This is the tour’s first event since late April when it ended a three-event run in Colombia and Mexico.Rutledge, a local favorite, is coming off a tie for 45th at the Senior PGA Championship. The 50-year-old also shared third place at this event in 2008.After a three-week break, the Canadian Tour returns to action July 1st with the ATB Financial Classic, where Graham DeLaet won last year.