Share this article

‘Made a Choice’: After Choosing Money Over Legacy, LIV Golf Learn a Stern Lesson From Jack Nicklaus Ahead of $20,000,000 Event

Published 06/01/2023, 9:30 AM EDT

Follow Us

via Imago

As the 2023 Memorial Tournament gets underway in Muirfield Village, fans are eagerly looking forward to seeing their favorite golfers in action. Several of the heavyweights in the sport, including seven of the ten top-ranked golfers, are part of the 120-player field this year.

America’s Favorite Video Today

However, the elephant in the room is the absence of LIV pros from the field, notably two defending major champions. But what does tournament host Jack Nicklaus think of their omission? Ahead of the event, the golf legend got candid about his feelings concerning the Saudi-backed league and its players.

Jack Nicklaus makes his feelings clear about LIV’s future in the Memorial Tournament


Article continues below this ad

Every edition of the Memorial Tournament in Jack Nicklaus’ hometown attracts many of the biggest names in golf. To make things even better, the coveted tournament has been elevated to a designated event, bringing its prize purse up to $20,000,000.

via Getty

However, this year’s star-studded roster doesn’t include two of the four reigning major winners, Cam Smith and Brooks Koepka. Regular competitors such as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, as well as 2018 winner Bryson DeChambeau, aren’t participating either. However, the host, Nicklaus isn’t thinking much of it. Ahead of the event, he made clear his satisfaction with the field, saying, “To me, this is a PGA Tour event, and we’ve got the best field we can possibly have on the PGA Tour.


Get instantly notified of the hottest Golf stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

But will LIV players get to appear in the tournament in the future? “It’s not up to me,” the 18-time major winner said bluntly as per Golfweek. “I don’t know if I’d let them back or not. They made a choice about what they want to do and that’s what the rules are.” This isn’t the first time Nicklaus has made his inhibitions about Greg Norman’s league known to the world. However, the ‘Golden Bear’ admitted that he had congratulated Koepka after his win at Oak Hill.

The ever-competitive field of the 2023 Memorial Tournament?

The 2023 edition of the Memorial Tournament is expected to deliver a lot of thrilling golfing moments. After all, it is one of the most prestigious events on the PGA Tour and features many of the world’s best. The event’s new designated status is just the cherry on top!

World No. 2 and Masters winner Jon Rahm returns to compete after a disappointing run at the PGA Championship. Having won the title once in 2020, he will be vying to join the illustrious ranks of players who have won it multiple times. Scottie Scheffler is another fan favorite to win this year, especially after his stellar outings at Oak Hill and the recently-concluded Charles Schwab Challenge.

USA Today via Reuters

The 36-year-old Billy Horschel also returns to defend the title. A second win will help the golfer become the first player since Tiger Woods to emerge as the winner in consecutive editions of the event.


Article continues below this ad

Two-time winner Patrick Cantlay is another golfer to look out for. While he has yet to win a tournament since last year’s BMW Championship, the World No. 4 has remained in form, producing consistently good performances. The world-class field also features Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, and Hideki Matsuyama, among others.

Players will be competing for a share of the jaw-dropping $20,000,000 prize purse, out of which the winner will take home $3,600,000. Additionally, the runner-up stands to win an incredible $2,180,000!


Article continues below this ad

Watch This Story: ‘I Envy the PGA Tour’: As She Competes At $1,500,000 Event, LPGA Legend Makes a Painful Revelation

What do you think of Jack Nicklaus’ latest comments? Who are you rooting for to win the Memorial Tournament? Tell us in the comments!

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Abantika Ghosh


One take at a time

Abantika is a fresh writer at EssentiallySports who was chosen in the recent round of ‘ES Draft’ for her strong passion for golf writing. Even in her early days, Abantika has displayed an impressive ability to cover golf with gripping and insightful stories backed by thorough research. Her inspiration comes from the words of the legendary golfer and flag-bearer of the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy: "As long as I keep enjoying my golf, then hopefully I'll be able to play well," which motivates her to continue writing engaging pieces.
Show More>

Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira