Woods to be paired with special Nationwide guest Peyton Manning during official Tournament Pro-Am, the Nationwide Invitational at the Memorial
Dublin, Ohio – The current No. 1 player in the world and the man who held that position longer than anyone else in history are the latest additions to the field for the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
Tournament officials announced today that newly minted World No. 1 and current FedExCup points leader Justin Thomas, along with five-time Memorial winner Tiger Woods have officially committed to compete in the 43rd edition of the Memorial Tournament, being played May 28 – June 3 at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Woods, who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 682 weeks, returns to the Memorial for the first time since 2015.
These star additions further strengthen one of the most stellar fields of the year on the PGA TOUR, as Thomas and Woods join a cast that includes recent Masters champion Patrick Reed and major championship winners Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner, the 2017 Memorial winner.
“I am pleased that the Memorial Tournament once again is drawing a wonderful field,” said Tournament Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “To have the additional commitments of Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas gives the golf fans of Central Ohio that much more to look forward to Tournament week. I have been so impressed with Tiger during his comeback, and as I said after last weekend, I think he is on the verge of winning for the first time in several years. He’s been very close, and having won five times at Muirfield Village, I wouldn’t be surprised if he contended to win his sixth. Justin Thomas, meanwhile, just ascended to No. 1 in the world, and he has been playing great golf for a while now. It is an honor well deserved, and I expect he will be among the contenders come Sunday.”
Thomas, 25, kicked off his 2016-17 PGA TOUR campaign in dominant fashion with three wins in his first six events en route to a career year. He capped off the five-win season with his first FedExCup title. Thomas was also a first-time recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Award as the PGA TOUR Player of the Year and the Arnold Palmer Award as the TOUR’s leading money-winner, with nearly $10 million in earnings.
Now with 13 starts on the season, he has an impressive five top-10 finishes, including his seventh and eighth PGA TOUR victories. The Kentucky native is ranked No. 1 in FedExCup points and just grabbed the No. 1 ranking in the world for the first time in his career after placing T-11 at last week’s THE PLAYERS Championship. In four full seasons on the PGA TOUR, Thomas has career earnings of $22,020,526. He is one of only eight players in TOUR history to card an 18-hole score of 59 during competition, which he achieved last year in the opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Thomas will be making his fifth start at the Memorial. His best results came in 2017 when he finished tied for fourth place. His Tournament earnings total $408,220 and his scoring average at Muirfield Village Golf Club is 71.92.
Woods, 42, will be making his 16th appearance in the prestigious invitational Tournament hosted by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. His scoring average of 70.32 ranks No. 3 at the Memorial, and he is No. 1 in total earnings with $5,059,620. The Jupiter, Fla., resident has recorded victories in two of his last five starts at Muirfield Village Golf Club, most recently in 2012 when his incredible shot on the 70th hole, a chip-in birdie at the par-3 16th hole, vaulted him to his 73rd PGA TOUR victory. Woods has since increased his TOUR win total to 79, second all-time behind the 1984 Memorial Tournament Honoree Sam Snead, who recorded 82 victories.
An 11-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year, 14-time major championship winner and two-time FedExCup champion, Woods returned to competition this year, after undergoing back surgery in 2017. He made his first official TOUR start of the 2017-18 season at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open and made his first cut on TOUR in two years, en route to a T-23 finish. Since then, Woods has made seven other starts on TOUR, recording two top-10 finishes, including a solo second place outing at the Valspar Championship. He finished T-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard the following week, and made his first cut at a major championship since 2015 when he posted a T-32 effort at the Masters Tournament. At last week’s PLAYERS Championship, Woods made the cut on the number, but then used a 65-69 weekend to finish tied for 11th. At one point in the final round, Woods was tied for second.
For Memorial patrons attending Wednesday, Woods will be paired with special Nationwide guest Peyton Manning during the Tournament’s official Pro-Am, the Nationwide Invitational at the Memorial. In addition to Woods and Manning, the Pro-Am will feature top players from the Tournament’s field of competitors, as well as NFL royalty Anthony Muñoz, Greg Olsen and LaDainian Tomlinson. Manning, Muñoz and Tomlinson are all former winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award and Olsen is a two-time finalist. Nationwide, which has been the presenting sponsor of the Memorial since 2011, is also the presenting sponsor of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which honors a player’s work in the community. These NFL greats will participate in the Pro-Am for the enjoyment of Tournament patrons and also to highlight Wednesday’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Champion Program, and shine a light on the great work being done at Nationwide Children’s.
To purchase badges for this year’s edition of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, the public may call the Tournament Ticket Office 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at 877-MT BADGE (877-682-2343) or visit www.memorialbadges.com. Kids 18 and under can attend for free with a ticketed adult. Daily practice round tickets for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are also available. The cost is $35 and they are valid for all three practice-round days.
About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 614-889-6700.
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
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Thomas P. Sprouse
Director of Communications,
the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide