It was Memorial Day weekend in America while we in Britain enjoyed the Bank Holiday. While that means rain showers spoiling BBQs for one side of the Atlantic, it means remembering army veterans in the USA and also that it’s almost time for Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a professional golfer as successful as Nicklaus. The ‘Golden Bear’ won an incredible 18 major championships but it’s not just for his game that Nicklaus is revered. He has gone on to become one of the world’s premier golf course designers and this week he gets to invite the PGA Tour’s best players to his pride and joy, Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Nicklaus named the course that he opened in 1974 after the Scottish course where he won the 1966 Open Championship and such is his love for the place that he never rests when it comes to making improvements. There have been some major rejigs of the layout and each year there are a few subtle changes for the players to get to grips with. The result is a golf course that has gone from a haven for the biggest hitters to one where ball striking and putting are the keys to success.
Rahm to Put Course Specialists in the Shade
Jon Rahm finished in a share of second place at last week’s Dean & DeLuca Invitational. That finish is all the more remarkable given just how tough Colonial Country Club is for debutants. Rahm is simply playing some of the best golf in the world right now and he must be licking his lips about the chance to tackle a course which has served up debutant winners in the past.
Rahm’s prodigious distance off the tee is the most eye catching element of his game but that power only hides the other myriad of strengths that he possesses. The Spaniard is a wonderful ball striker, his short game is top class and he’s holed plenty of clutch putts in his short time on the PGA Tour. If Rahm plays to his best this week he should go on to win at 12/1 with Ladbrokes.
Globe Trotting Ben Set for Another Profitable Week
Byeong Hun An has been the target for a number of upset American golfers. There are those who believe he made the most of weaker fields on the European Tour to improve his world ranking so that he could play in more PGA Tour events than Americans who have a tougher time of improving their world ranking. When you watch An in full flow it’s instantly clear that those claims are junk.
The South Korean won the biggest event of the lot on the European Tour at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship and after another solid showing at Wentworth last week, he is back in America to continue his attempts to crack the tour over there. An is a truly world class ball striker who also ranks ninth for strokes gained off the tee on the PGA Tour this season. If he can just get his putter even remotely hot he’ll have a great chance of winning at Jack’s place, where he is very good each way value at 55/1 with Betfred.