Jack Nicklaus’ tournament returns to old date after Scottie Scheffler’s schedule concerns

The Memorial Tournament is returning to its original spot on the PGA Tour calendar.

After striking an agreement with the PGA Tour to stage its event the week before the U.S. Open in 2024, Jack Nicklaus announced Monday that his Memorial Tournament will take place during the first weekend of June.

That means the tournament will begin on Memorial Day Monday, two weeks before the U.S. Open.

“The relationship the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday has enjoyed with the PGA Tour is more like a partnership. The Tour has acted in the best interest of the Memorial Tournament, and we, in turn, have always supported the Tour and its initiatives. That is why a year ago when the Tour presented us its new business model, we were willing to work with them and move the 2024 date to a week before the U.S. Open,” Nicklaus said in a statement.

“Over recent months, we have had a number of conversations with Jay Monahan and his team—ones that have included our presenting sponsor Workday and Co-Founder and Executive Chair Aneel Bhusri—and together we determined that in the best interest of the Memorial Tournament, the Tour and its players, we would return to our traditional date and start Tournament week on the Memorial Day holiday.”

The Memorial Tournament presents a grueling test year in and year out, almost serving as a ‘Mini-major.’ This year’s edition certainly lived up to that billing, as Scottie Scheffler fought firm and fast conditions, as well as a charging Collin Morikawa, to win by a stroke at 8-under par. Scheffler even said it played like a U.S. Open, but it’s extremely difficult for both the mind and the body to play a U.S. Open-type course in back-to-back weeks.

Scottie Scheffler, the Memorial

Scottie Scheffler celebrates his par-save on the 18th green, which won him the 2024 Memorial Tournament.
Photo by Ian Johnson/Getty Images

Hence, at Pinehurst No. 2 this past week, Scheffler explained why he does not want to play the week before a major going forward.

“I think playing the week before, a lot of it depends on the golf course, but I think last week with the golf course the way it was, it probably was not the best prep work for me coming into another challenging event,” Scheffler said Sunday.

“I shot 5-under during the first round at the Memorial, which would have been the easiest day, and after that, I was 3-under from there on out. I mean, that’s pretty U.S. Open-like, and to play that many rounds, especially with what I’ve been dealing with the weeks leading up or the whole season, been playing a lot of good golf and being in contention, I think maybe my prep would have been a little bit better for this week if I was at home.”

Interestingly, Nicklaus, the 18-time major champion who has won more of them than anyone else, agreed with this sentiment.

“When I played, I rarely played a week before any major championship. So I’m asked to be part of putting on a golf tournament in a week that I would never play,” Nicklaus said before his tournament.

“From a sponsor’s standpoint, Memorial Day has been what our name is, and we were around Memorial Day. [Monday] is normally a huge day gallery-wise for us because it was Memorial Day, and we had maybe a thousand people here [this year on Monday].”

Now Nicklaus gets his wish, as his tournament will welcome the PGA Tour’s best players two weeks before Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh—another brutally tough course—will host the 2025 U.S. Open.

And best of all, Scheffler, now knowing that the 2025 Memorial aligns with his plans, will be there defending his title, too.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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