The Memorial Tournament preview

The PGA Tour is in Ohio this week for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. A strong field has assembled for Jack Nicklaus' tournament, Steve Stricker defends the title and World Number 1 Luke Donald is in the field.

Steve Stricker defends Memorial (Getty Images)

Lowdown: The PGA Tour is in Ohio this week for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. A strong field has assembled for Jack Nicklaus' tournament, Steve Stricker defends the title and World Number 1 Luke Donald is in the field. The US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco is just two weeks away so a number of Europe's best players have made the journey to the USA to begin preparation. Luke Donald and Justin Rose on the back of their, respective, first and second place finishes at Wentworth will tee it up at Muirfield Village, as will Rory McIlroy, Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Casey. The 220 acres on which Muirfield Village GC sits was acquired in 1966, though the course was not officially opened until 1974. Built in the outskirts of Jack Nicklaus' hometown of Columbus, the course and the Memorial Tournament were the work and dream of the Golden Bear. Muirfield Village has played host to the Memorial since 1976 and the course was also used for the 1987 Ryder Cup matches, the 1992 US Amateur and the 1998 Solheim Cup. Past winners of this tournament include: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Fred Couples and Tiger Woods. The former World Number 1 took this title three years straight from 1999 to 2001 then again in 2009. He's on the start sheet this week and will be looking to rebuild in time for the US Open. The weather should be set fair for the week, although the temperatures shouldn't climb much above 70. Venue: Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, Ohio Date: May 31 - Jun 3 Course stats: par 72, 7,265 yards Purse: $6,200,000 Winner: $1,116,000 Defending Champion: Steve Stricker (-16)

TV Coverage: Thursday 31 - Live on Sky Sports 1 from 8pm Friday 1 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm Saturday 2 - Live on Sky Sports 1 from 5.30pm Sunday 3 - Live on Sky Sports 1 from 5pm

Player Watch: Steve Stricker - the defending champion has been playing solidly tee to green but, unlike him, the putter has been somewhat cool. If he can get it going here, he'll be a threat.

Luke Donald - He's looking increasingly like a complete player, displaying great maturity and composure on the course. If he plays as well as he did at Wentworth last week, he'll be tough to beat.

Rickie Fowler - Enjoying having the monkey of his back after securing his first PGA Tour victory. He's had 16 straight rounds of par or better on the PGA Tour, he's one of the men on form.

Key hole: 17th. A long, 478-yard par 4 that generally plays as one of the most challenging holes on this layout. Trees down the right side can hamper the approach from a tee shot that's leaked in that direction. The green is small and well guarded and the ball must carry all the way to the surface across a rough-filled valley.

Where next? European Tour - ISPS Handa Wales Open preview

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?