RBC Heritage

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Top five in the world, Bryson DeChambeau and, oh, some guy named Tiger, highlight a loaded Memorial field


Tournament founder Jack Nicklaus poses with Tiger Woods after Tiger's two-stroke victory at the 2012 Memorial, the last of his five wins in the tournament.

Scott Halleran

With Tiger Woods announcing Thursday he was a yes to play next week at Muirfield Village, host Jack Nicklaus and organizers of the Memorial Tournament didn’t have much to sweat on Friday as they waited for the 5 p.m. cutoff for entering the field. And when the deadline passed, there was only good news to report.

For the third time in the six weeks since the PGA Tour resumed play, the top five golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking—Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Justin Thomas—will be competing. It’s the first time the Memorial has had the entire top five since 2016. Of the group, McIlroy has had the most success, with four top 10s.

Meanwhile, 26 of the 30 people who played in last year’s Tour Championship have committed, which is the most of any tournament since the restart. Among them is defending champion Patrick Cantlay and 2018 winner Bryson DeChambeau, who has had four top-10 finishes in four starts, including a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, since the tour started playing again in June.

The most highly anticipated golfer of that group, however, is Woods, who will be playing in an event for the first time since the tour’s restart. Woods’ last official appearance on tour came at the Genesis Invitational in February, where he finished last among the players who made the cut.

That he would make Memorial the event in which he’d stage his return made sense given his track record in the tournament. He’s a five-time champion, most recently in 2012. He has played in the tournament 17 times, with nine- top-10 finishes and 13 top 25s. He finished T-9 last year. His $5.3 million in career earnings at the Memorial is $2 million more than any other golfer. It is also the site of his worst round on the PGA Tour, when he shot a 13-over 85 while plagued by back issues in 2015.

A total of 133 players are in the field. Click here for the complete list. The total purse is $9.3 million.