The Loop

Chris Smith receives Memorial exemption

May 29, 2010

DUBLIN, Ohio -- The Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley filled out its field to 120 players Saturday by awarding its final three open exemptions to three players with Ohio ties, including Ohio State University graduate Chris Smith, who continues his comeback less than a year after he lost his wife, Beth, in an auto accident.

Smith, 41, of Peru, Ind., will be making his fifth start this year on the PGA Tour. He made the last of his three Memorial appearances in 2003. He made the cut in each of his three starts but finished no better than T-56. Smith made his first cut of the season two weeks ago at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, finishing T-43.

Winner of the 2002 Buick Classic, Smith was a teammate with Gary Nicklaus on the OSU golf team. Jack Nicklaus hosts the Memorial, celebrating its 35th year.

Also granted exemptions were Ohio natives Steve Flesch and Chris Wilson. Flesch, from Cincinnati, has won four titles. The left-hander has made 12 previous starts at Muirfield Village Golf Club with a T-5 in 2000 his best showing. Wilson, a rookie this year on the tour, is a Columbus native who will be playing in his second Memorial. He missed the cut last year.

Tiger Woods is the defending champion. The only four-time winner of the Memorial will be making his first start since withdrawing from the final round of The Players with a neck injury.

-- Dave Shedloski