Weekly Golf Preview – Memorial Tournament | Italian Open

The European Tour again boasts a prominent tournament this week in the shape of the Italian Open, but the Memorial Tournament in Ohio is no doubt the big event on the calendar.

The Memorial, one of only five invitational events on the PGA Tour, was created by Jack Nicklaus nearly 50 years ago and is staged at Muirfield Village – a course of his design, in his hometown.

Nicklaus often attracts big names for his event, including one of his biggest fans in Tiger Woods – who has won this five times.

Across the Atlantic, and the Italian Open has attracted an impressive field for its 75th staging after it moved from October to its new May start. It also sees the Gardagolf Country Club return as host for the first time in over a decade.

See below as we run through the BMW PGA and the Fort Worth tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Betfair.


  • Staged at Muirfield Village, Ohio
  • First staged in 1976
  • Current champion is Jason Dufner

FIELD: The Memorial boasts one of the top fields seen in 2018 with home favourites Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods all teeing it up, whilst the foreign opposition is equally as good with Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Henrik Stenson in action. Jason Dufner is on hand to defend his title.

QUOTES: Nicklaus himself is delighted to see Woods back in his tournament, saying:  “I am very happy for him. I never thought he would play again after the fusion. I am not a doctor but I never dreamed you could fuse somebody and they could go play golf. I think that he’ll win when he believes it himself between his ears.

“When he really starts to believe that – and maybe winning here would be one thing that would (help that) … I think he’ll win and do I think he’ll win majors again? Yeah, I think he’ll win majors again.”

ODDS provided by Betfair:

  • Dustin Johnson 12/1
  • Justin Rose 12/1
  • Justin Thomas 12/1
  • Rory McIlroy 12/1
  • Jason Day 14/1
  • Jordan Spieth 16/1
  • Tiger Woods 18/1
  • Rickie Fowler 20/1
  • Henrik Stenson 25/1
  • Marc Leishman 25/1
  • Bubba Watson 30/1
  • Hideki Matsuyama 30/1


  • Staged at Gardagolf Country Club, Brescia
  • First staged in 1925
  • Current champion is Tyrrell Hatton


FIELD:  The Italian Open has benefited from the BMW at Wentworth last week with a number of big names on show. Ty Hatton defends his title, but he has a tough task on his hands with the likes of Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Rafa Cabreba Bello teeing it up. The one name the home fans will be turning up for is Francesco Molinari – the winner in England last week.


QUOTES: Defending champion Hatton is hopeful that he can become the first man ever to defend this title. “It would be nice to recapture some of that form again. I am Looking forward to it and hopefully I can put up a good defence.”


ODDS provided by Betfair:

  • Alex Noren 10/1
  • Francesco Molinari 10/1
  • Tommy Fleetwood 12/1
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick 14/1
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello 20/1
  • Ian Poulter 22/1
  • Andy Sullivan 25/1
  • Ross Fisher 25/1
  • Tyrrell Hatton 30/1
  • Alexander Levy 33/1
  • Lucas Bjerregaard 33/1
  • Paul Dunne 33/1

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

We came close last week, and again there are two great events this week. Looking at the Italian Open, and aside from Francesco Molinari, who I think could very well be a major player, I would look at some like Rafa Cabrera Bello.

The Memorial is a truly wonderful field, again I think Jason Dufner will do well here, but the likes of Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are surely looking for big weeks.

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