With a strong field at The Memorial (8 of the top 10 in the current world rankings), comes intriguing pairings and tee times for Thursday and Friday.
Here is a look at some of the more interesting match-ups. All times and hole locations are for the Thursday start times. You can also look at the complete list of tee times on the PGA Tour web site.
The very first group off the first tee includes new Columbus-area resident Jason Day. We’ll have more on his story this week in our Memorial 2013 specials. The Australian native married an Ohioan, and they have settled down in the area. In fact, Day is now a member at Muirfield Village. He’s partnered with countryman Matt Jones, and Nicolas Colsaerts, who is better known for getting up and down out the bathroom for par.
American Brandt Snedeker is ranked fifth in the world, one spot ahead of Brit Luke Donald. Those two tee it up with Russell Henley at 8:26am off the front side.
Die-hard Browns fans might want to be at the first tee at 8:48am. Sweden’s David Lingmerth will be on the box, along with Ricky Barnes and Cameron Tringale. Lingmerth’s uncle (Goran) was a kicker with the Browns briefly in the 1987 season.
The tenth tee in the morning wave Thursday brings a bevy of major winners. At 8:04am, 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir tees it up with 2007 Memorial winner K.J. Choi. Michael Thompson comprises that threesome.
Right behind them is the monster pairing at 8:15am. Adam Scott is fresh off his first career major, winning the Masters at Augusta National in April. South African Charl Schwartzel was fitted for a green jacket of his own in 2011. Ernie Els had won the U.S. Open and British Open twice each. Not too shabby.
Just 11 minutes later, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Justin Rose will stride up to the tenth tee. McIlroy is ranked second in the world, and has two major wins, while Watson won the 2012 Masters. Justin Rose hasn’t cracked the code to winning a major yet, but did get a handshake from Memorial Tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus following his win at Muirfield Village in 2010.
Onto Thursday afternoon, and on the first tee at 12:10pm is Warren, Ohio, native Jason Kokrak. A rookie on the PGA Tour, Kokrak was born in Canada, but grew up in the Buckeye state, playing collegiately at Xavier, and is a huge Ohio State fan. His partners are Matt Every and Brian Stuard.
There’s a little international flair in the 12:32pm time at the first tee. Colombian Camilo Villegas, South Korean Seung-Yul Noh and Argentine Fabian Gomez are all eligible to play for the International team in the President’s Cup at Muirfield Village in October, but all three have work to do to make the squad. None are currently ranked higher than 38th.
Rickie Fowler is playing in just his fourth Memorial Tournament, but he has quickly become a fan favorite, especially with the younger crowds. You can call him golf’s Justin Bieber. He’ll put the peg in the ground at 12:54pm, along with John Huh and Bryce Molder.
Following that group are three big names. Matt Kuchar nearly won at Colonial this past week, while Webb Simpson is the defending U.S. Open champion. Hunter Mahan rounds out the group.
At 1:16pm is Tiger Woods. He would be a huge draw no matter who else he was playing well, but his partners are no slouches themselves. Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship in 2011 is joined by 1998 Memorial winner (and 1992 Masters champion) Fred Couples. The U.S. captain for October’s President’s Cup at Muirfield Village has been a favorite follow in Dublin for years.
Less than a year ago, Ben Kohles turned pro and won his first ever start in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, held at the OSU Scarlet course on the Web.com tour. He’s now back in Central Ohio, playing on the PGA Tour. He’s joined at 1:38pm by Bud Cauley and Jimmy Walker.
There is always a spot for amateurs in the Memorial, and two of them are paired together at 1:49pm on the first tee. Chinese sensation Guan Tianlang is playing with Peter Williamson. That duo is joined by Justin Bolli.
Over on the tenth tee in the afternoon, At 12:43pm, three-time Memorial winner Kenny Perry will get to work. Now a member of the Champions Tour, Perry will play with Tommy Gainey and Bill Haas.
Ostander native Ben Curtis is playing in his 11th straight Memorial Tournament, and is playing in a threesome made of up major winners. Curtis shockingly won the 2003 British Open, while 2002 Memorial winner Jim Furyk captured the U.S. Open one month before Curtis’ win. 2006 U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy rounds it out at 12:54pm from the tenth tee.