Dublin, Ohio – Officials of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance announced today that the Tournament has accepted early entry commitments from defending Memorial winner Matt Kuchar; newly minted Masters champion Bubba Watson; and popular young star Rickie Fowler to compete in the 39th edition of the prestigious invitational Tournament hosted by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus.
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance is May 26 - June 1 at venerable Muirfield Village Golf Club.
"We feel very fortunate to have Bubba, Matt and Rickie in the field for this year’s Memorial Tournament”, said Tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus. “All three are coming off wonderful showings at the Masters Tournament, with all three finishing in the top five. The highlight, of course, was Bubba’s terrific performance down the stretch to win his second Green Jacket. He played solid, if not spectacular, golf on Sunday to emerge from a crowded Sunday leaderboard. Matt is our defending winner at the Memorial; he has continued to play wonderfully consistent golf this year; and we are proud to have him back. Rickie, beyond being one of the bright young talents in the game, is such a crowd favorite. He has been very generous with his time and has treated our patrons well over the years. He’s been working hard with Butch Harmon on his game, and it obviously showed at Augusta.”
“In so many ways, these three gentlemen represent the face of today’s PGA Tour and they are certain to be fan favorites for our galleries at Muirfield Village Golf Club.”
Kuchar, 35, is coming off the first multi-win season of his career with victories at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance and the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. He has continued to play well this season, recording seven top-10 finishes over 10 events, including a playoff loss in the Shell Houston Open and a T-5 finish in last week’s Masters Tournament. Kuchar is ranked a career-high No. 6 in the world and stands No. 11 in both FedExCup points and on the PGA TOUR money list with $2,077,107. The TOUR’s leading money winner in 2010, Kuchar has career earnings of $28,493,134 to go with six-career TOUR wins. He has also been a member of two U.S. Ryder Cup Teams (2010 and 2012) and two U.S. Presidents Cup Teams (2011 and 2013). The Sea Island, GA resident will be returning to the Memorial for a ninth time, this year to defend his 2013 title. Kuchar has five top-10 outings at Muirfield Village Golf Club, finishing first and T-2 (2011) in his last two starts.
Watson, 35, is coming off his second win of the season and second green jacket in three years at last week’s Masters Tournament. Watson’s convincing victory to seal his second career major championship was good for his sixth PGA TOUR title and vaulted him to a career-best fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking. A resident of Windermere, Fla., Watson has competed in nine TOUR events in the 2013-2014 season and recorded six top-10 finishes, including a win at the Northern Trust Open to go with his Masters victory. He is currently ranked No. 2 on TOUR in FedExCup points, top-10 finishes and scoring average at 69.583. Additionally, Watson holds the top stop on the TOUR’s current money list with $4,533,007, raising his career earnings to $23,251,925, and he leads the TOUR in driving distance with an average of 315.4 yards. Watson’s best finish in his eight previous appearances at the Memorial Tournament is T-23 in 2007 and 2009. Last year he finished the Tournament at even-par 288 to grab a share of 29th place at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Fan favorite Fowler broke through with his first career PGA TOUR victory in 2012 at the Wells Fargo Championship. The 25-year-old resident of Jupiter, Fla., has now recorded 24 top-10 finishes in route to $11,863,144 in career earnings. Through 12 events this year he has finished inside the top-10 three times, including a T-5 outing at last week’s Masters Tournament, tying his best-career finish in a major set at the 2011 British Open Championship. Fowler is currently ranked No. 35 in the world and No. 34 in FedExCup points. He will be making his fifth start at the Memorial Tournament. He kept his streak of consecutive cuts made at Muirfield Village alive with a T-37 finish in 2013. Fowler’s best Memorial campaign came in 2010 when he finished second to Justin Rose.
All-week Patron Badges to the 2014 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance are available to the general public. The badges, valid May 26 – June 1, cost $165 and include three complimentary any-day Practice Round tickets at no extra cost. As always, kids 12 and under can attend for free, and kids 18 and under are admitted free on Wednesday for Junior Golf Day with a ticketed adult. The public may call the Tournament Ticket Office 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at 877-MT BADGE or visit www.mtbadge.com to purchase badges. Daily tickets for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds are also available. The cost is $35, and they are valid for all three practice-round days.