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Golf Glance: PGA at the Memorial; Yuka Saso defends at U.S. Women’s Open

Jun 6, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Yuka Saso hoists the US Open trophy after winning in a sudden death playoff over Nasa Hataoka following the final round of the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at The Olympic Club. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

LAST TOURNAMENT: Charles Schwab Challenge (Sam Burns)
THIS WEEK: The Memorial Tournament, Dublin, Ohio, June 2-5
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club (Par 72, 7,533 yards)
Purse: $12M (Winner: $2.16M)
Defending Champion: Patrick Cantlay
FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30-6 p.m. (CBS)
PGA Tour Live: Daily feeds on ESPN+
Social Media: @MemorialGolf (Twitter)
NOTES: Muirfield Village is Jack Nicklaus’ signature design and underwent a significant renovation that was completed in 2021. Muirfield has played host to a tour event every year since 1976. … This is one of three events with elevated status on the PGA Tour (The Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational) that offer larger purses along with 550 FedEx Cup points and a three-year tour exemption for the winner. … The field includes seven of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. … Bryson DeChambeau, who has withdrawn from his past two events while continuing to recover from wrist surgery, is hoping to play this week. … Five of the past eight Memorials have been decided by a playoff. … Bo Hoag will make his third consecutive start in the event as a sponsor exemption after finishing T13 last year. His grandfather, Robert Hoag, was involved with Nicklaus in establishing Muirfield Village Golf Club. Other sponsor exemptions include former FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker and former Florida State star John Pak.
BEST BETS: Jon Rahm (+1000 by BetMGM) won the event in 2020 and held a six-stroke lead after 54 holes last year before being forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. … Rory McIlroy (+1100) has three consecutive top-10 finishes, including a runner-up at the Masters. … Cantlay (+1600), the 2011 Jack Nicklaus Award winner who also won the Memorial in 2019, is trying to join Tiger Woods (1999-2001) as the only players to win the event in consecutive years. … Collin Morikawa (+2000) has five victories on Tour, three of which have come on Nicklaus-designed courses. One was the 2020 Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village, and he lost in a playoff against Cantlay last year. … Cameron Smith (+2200) ranks second on tour in scoring average (69.153) but has only made the cut twice in six previous event starts and has only broken par once in 16 rounds. … Tour rookie Cameron Young (+3300) has three consecutive top-three finishes, including a T3 at the PGA championship, as he has risen to No. 30 in the world rankings.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: RBC Canadian Open, Toronto, June 9-12

THIS WEEK: U.S. Women’s Open, Southern Pines, N.C., June 2-5
Course: Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club (Par 71, 6,638 yards)
Purse: $10M
Defending Champion: Yuka Saso
Race to the CME Globe leader: Minjee Lee
TV: Thursday-Friday, 1-3 p.m. ET (Peacock), 3-8 p.m. (USA); Saturday, 12-1 p.m. (Peacock), 1-3 p.m. (USA), 3-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (USA), 3-7 p.m. (NBC).
Twitter: @uswomensopen
NOTES: Pine Needles will play host to the event for the first time since 2007. … The 156-player field will be cut to the top 60 and ties after 36 holes. The field includes No. 2 Nelly Korda, who returns from a two-month absence to recover from a blood clot in her arm. … Saso defeated Nasa Hataoka in a two-hole aggregate playoff and one hole of sudden death last year. Lexi Thompson lost a five-shot lead over her final 10 holes. … Only two players have successfully defended at the U.S. Women’s Open since 1991 – Annika Sorenstam (1995-96) and Karrie Webb (2000-01). Both accomplished the feat at Pine Needles. … Jennifer Kupcho leads the tour’s money list ($917,112) and is also leading the player of the year points race. … Minjee Lee (68.893) leads the tour in scoring average. … There are no multiple-time winners through the first 12 events this year. … Next year’s event will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: ShopRite LPGA Classic, Galloway, N.J., June 10-12

Champions Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: Senior PGA Championship (Steven Alker)
THIS WEEK: Principal Charity Classic, Des Moines, Iowa, June 3-5
Course: Wakonda Club (Par 72, 6,861 yards)
Purse: $1.85M (Winner: $277,500)
Defending Champion: Stephen Ames
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker
TV: Friday, 6-8 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 2:30-5:30 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)
Twitter: @SPCTourney
NOTES: This is a 54-hole, no-cut event. … Alker has six top-3 finishes, including three wins, in nine starts this season. … Steve Stricker returns after missing last week’s major due to a positive COVID-19 test. … Retief Goosen, Robert Allenby, Davis Love III and Rocco Mediate withdrew from the field. They were replaced by Scott Dunlap, Stephen Leaney, David McKenzie and John Daly.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: American Family Insurance Championship, Madison, Wisc.

–Field Level Media