The Memorial Tournament’s traditional spot on the PGA Tour schedule has for decades been two weeks prior to the US Open. Jack Nicklaus sounded pretty sure that was changing, being bumped back a week later, just before the year’s third men’s major in 2024.
“I’d say it’s a strong possibility [the tour moves it],” Nicklaus said at Muirfield Village Golf Club prior to the leaders teeing off in the final round of the Memorial. “We’ll be fine either way. If that’s the best thing for running the way it works, that’s OK. Whatever is better for the tour will be fine.”
Nicklaus, 83, who founded the Memorial in 1976, said he’d prefer to remain in the same place on the calendar, but understands that the tour is reconfiguring the schedule to group together designated events with elevated purses and then have a series of “swing” events that provide berths into designated tournaments. Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief tournaments and competitions officer, said that designated events, including invitationals like the Memorial, will be restricted to 70-80 players. Whether those events have a cut hasn’t been decided.
A field of 120 players competed this week at Muirfield Village for a purse that increased from $US12 million to $US20 million. All designated events this year have been full-field tournaments with a cut and elevated purses ranging from $15 million to $25 million.
Asked if the Memorial could precede the US Open every year going forward, Nicklaus wouldn’t speculate.
“I don’t know whether the schedules change every year,” he said. “So I just don’t know what they would do. Let’s take one possibility at a time. Once they get finished with that, then then we’ll talk about the next year. It depends on how they handle it. Maybe if they decide to take it, put it simply before the US Open, see how they handle it and how it runs.”
Tour officials said they expect to release the 2024 schedule by the end of June.