The decision by the R&A to cancel this year’s hosting of the 149th Open Championship could be the gain of the Jack Nicklaus hosted Memorial where Mallow amateur James Sugrue had earned an invitation to compete.
The Memorial is due to be staged from June 4th to 7th but with continuing fears over COVID-19, Memorial event organisers have already been in contact with the PGA Tour with a view to postponing the event.
And with the week of The Open, namely July 16th to 19th, now free, the Memorial is seeking to fill that now vacant week given the PGA Tour website indicates that week is a ‘Potential PGA Tournament’.
“The Tour is looking at probably moving the Memorial to the British Open (week),” said Nicklaus.
“Right now the Memorial tournament is still on and in its regular date. Whether we’ll be ready in the first of June, I seriously doubt it.
“Whether we’ll be ready in the middle of July, I don’t know but we certainly hope.”
It would be great news for Amateur Champion Sugrue who already breathed a huge sigh of relief with the Masters only postponed and not cancelled this year.
Sugrue’s victory at Portmarnock last summer earned him an invitation to take a drive down Magnolia Lane while the Memorial tournament presented itself as another opportunity for the Walker Cup player to test himself against the game’s best.
The Memorial was first held in 1976 with Tiger Woods being greeted by Nicklaus on the 72nd green as winner on five occasions at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
And the tournament enjoys such a stature that the winner is afforded a three-year PGA Tour exemption.
A leaked PGA memo to all players indicated the Tour was hoping to resume the 2019/20 wraparound schedule at the Charles Schwab Challenge (formerly the Colonial tournament) in Fort Worth, Texas from May 21-24.
Of course, this is pending whether the Coronavirus fears have eased.