Golf legend Jack Nicklaus not pleased with PGA Tour’s change to his Memorial Tournament

Jack Nicklaus, the 18-time major winner and 73-time PGA Tour victor, looks forward to his Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, each year. 

The PGA Tour’s request to reschedule the tournament for a week later this year, right before the U.S. Open, didn’t sit well with Nicklaus.

“We would prefer the other week,” Nicklaus told reporters Tuesday, via Sports Illustrated. 

“However, we are here this week because the tour asked us to help them out. They said they had a thing they wanted to do and that the players had asked for and that would we help it out. And we said yes, that we would do that this week.

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“But we said we would review it after this tournament, and we’ll figure out how we’re going to settle the schedule after that. And I said that discussion is under way.”

The reason the tour asked Nicklaus and the tournament to move from its usual Memorial Day weekend was to help its signature event series. 

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One of the main reasons Nicklaus liked the tournament where it was — two weeks before the U.S. Open — was having people off Memorial Day weekend. This week saw lower attendance during practice round days than past years. 

“Yesterday was normally a very big day gallery-wise for us because it was Memorial Day, and we had maybe a thousand people here yesterday,” he explained. “From the sponsor’s standpoint, I think that they get into board meetings and kids’ graduations and so forth. So, that’s maybe not as advantageous.”

Some players also skip some tournaments to rest before a major, and the U.S. Open marks the third of the season. 

“Let’s put it this way. When I played, I would rarely play a week before any major championship,” Nicklaus said. “So, I’m asked to be part of putting on a golf tournament in a week that I would never play. That, to me, is the essential part from my standpoint.”

Despite his personal preference, Nicklaus is excited for another edition of his tournament at the course that’s affectionately known as “Jack’s Place.”

“We’re going to have a good tournament this week either way, in spite of all the different things. And, as I say, we did that as a favor, and the tour asked us to do that, and we said yes,” Nicklaus said. “So, we’ve always been a supporter of the tour. We want to try to continue to support what is best for the tour, but we also want to support what’s best for the Memorial Tournament. So that is to be determined.”

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