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Memorial Tournament field loaded with star power despite LIV Golf absentees

June 4, 2023: Dublin, Ohio, USA; Scottie Scheffler hits out of the bunker on the 17th hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
June 4, 2023: Dublin, Ohio, USA; Scottie Scheffler hits out of the bunker on the 17th hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

A signature PGA Tour event needs big names to sign on the dotted line, and the Memorial Tournament has collected plenty of familiar autographs for the June 6-9 event at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler? ☑

Four-time major championship winner Rory McIlroy? ☑

Defending Memorial champion Viktor Hovland? ☑

Two-time Memorial winner Patrick Cantlay? ☑

Winner of last week's PGA Championship, Xander Schauffele? ☑

Oct 1, 2023; Rome, ITA; Team Europe golfer Rory McIlroy celebrates after beating Sam Burns during the final day of the 44th Ryder Cup golf competition at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2023; Rome, ITA; Team Europe golfer Rory McIlroy celebrates after beating Sam Burns during the final day of the 44th Ryder Cup golf competition at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

When the Memorial moved up and back this year – elevated as one of eight signature events with a limited field and larger winner’s check; and pushed back a week on the calendar to right before the U.S. Open  – it was expected the tournament would attract most of the top players not playing LIV Golf.

It’s not like the Memorial lacked star power in the past, but the signature status further cemented its reputation as an event to circle on the schedule. The only question was whether some players would skip the Memorial to focus on or rest up for the June 13-16 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina.

May 1, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Jack Nicklaus speaks to media following the Memorial Tournament Legends Luncheon at the Ohio Union. The PGA tournament is June 3-9 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin.
May 1, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Jack Nicklaus speaks to media following the Memorial Tournament Legends Luncheon at the Ohio Union. The PGA tournament is June 3-9 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin.

Memorial host and founder Jack Nicklaus even expressed some reservation about the tour’s decision to move the event to its latest date ever, not including 2020 when COVID forced a move to July 16-19. Nicklaus preferred to take off the week before a major championship, and wondered if some of today’s best players would do the same.

Not to worry, the Memorial is stacked with eight of the top-10 ranked players in the world, with more likely to commit by Friday’s 5 p.m. entry deadline. The smaller field, which drops from 120 players to between 70-74, will play for $20 million in prize money, with the winner taking home $4 million (compared to $3.5 million last year).

The Memorial also is one of three signature events, joining the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Genesis Invitational, hosted by Tiger Woods, that will include a 36-hole cut to the top 50 and ties, and any player within 10 shots of the lead.

Who has committed to 2024 Memorial Tournament

The following is the list of players who have committed to play in Dublin.

— Scottie Scheffler, defending Masters champion and No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings who has won four times already this season and twice tied for runner-up;

— Xander Schauffele, winner 2024 PGA Championship (2 in OWGR)

— Rory McIlroy, four-time major championship winner (3)

June 4, 2023: Dublin, Ohio, USA; Viktor Hovland waits to tee off on the first hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
June 4, 2023: Dublin, Ohio, USA; Viktor Hovland waits to tee off on the first hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

— Wyndham Clark, 2023 U.S. Open champion (4)

— Viktor Hovland, defending Memorial and FedEx Cup champion; (5)

— Patrick Cantlay, 2019 and 2021 Memorial winner (8)

June 1, 2023: Dublin, Ohio, USA; Collin Morikawa watches his tee shot on the 12th tee during opening round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
June 1, 2023: Dublin, Ohio, USA; Collin Morikawa watches his tee shot on the 12th tee during opening round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

— Collin Morikawa, two-time major winner (9)

— Brian Harman, 2023 British Open champion (10)

— Max Homa (11)

— Sahith Theegala (12)

Tommy Fleetwood (13)

— Keegan Bradley, 2011 PGA champion (14)

— Hideki Matsuyama, 2014 Memorial winner, 2021 Masters champion (15)

— Matthew Fitzpatrick, 2022 U.S. Open champion (17)

June 2, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA;  Jason Day hits from the fairway on the ninth hole during the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
June 2, 2023; Dublin, Ohio, USA; Jason Day hits from the fairway on the ninth hole during the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

— Jason Day, 2015 PGA champion (20)

— Justin Thomas, two-time PGA champion (23)

— Tony Finau (29)

— Shane Lowry, 2019 British Open champion (33)

— Will Zalatoris (35)

— Rickie Fowler (43)

Who won't play Memorial due to LIV contracts?

A handful of players who compete on LIV will not play the Memorial due to contractual obligations, including:

— Jon Rahm, two-time major champion, 2020 Memorial winner (7)

Bryson DeChambeau, 2020 U.S. Open champion, 2018 Memorial winner (36)

Brooks Koepka, five-time major champion (39)

— Phil Mickelson, six-time major champion (168)

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Scottie Scheffler leads signature field at Memorial Tournament