Jack Nicklaus Gets His Wish: A Memorial Tournament Date Change for 2025

The signature event was played two weeks ago immediately before the U.S. Open, which the tournament host and world No. 1 player both said was less than ideal.
Scottie Scheffler won Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament but followed with a lackluster week at the U.S. Open.
Scottie Scheffler won Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament but followed with a lackluster week at the U.S. Open. / Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Nicklaus spoke and it didn’t take long for the Golden Bear to get his wish.

The 18-time major champion whose Memorial Tournament was moved to the week before the U.S. Open this year had expressed a desire to move it back to its usual date, in the week following Memorial Day.

Wish granted.

The tournament announced that it will return to two weeks prior to the U.S. Open, with the RBC Canadian Open expected to move into the slot the week before the U.S. Open.

“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,” Nicklaus said in a statement.

Nicklaus, 84, said at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago that he agreed to the date switch in order to be a good partner to the PGA Tour, which was making scheduling changes to accommodate its $20 million signature events, including the Memorial.

But Nicklaus, who won 18 majors and 73 PGA Tour events including the Memorial twice, said it went against his own personal preference because the tournament was being staged during a week “in which I’d never have played.”

Scottie Scheffler, who won the Memorial tournament then had a lackluster week at the U.S. Open, said the tournament took a lot out of him and if he had a choice, he’d have preferred to not play that week.

“I think in terms of prep work for a week that I know is going to be as tough as this, I'm leaning going forward to maybe not playing the week before,” Scheffler said Saturday. “I think especially going around Jack's place, which is going to be pretty close. I did most of my damage under par there at the beginning of the week, so ...

“I think going into the major championships, especially the ones we know are going to be really challenging, it may be in my best interest not to play the week as before.”

Now that won’t be an issue for Scheffler when it comes to defending next year.

In the meantime, the PGA Tour Policy Board has other issues to consider with the signature events. For example, when Rory McIlroy withdrew from this week’s Travelers Championship, it dropped the field to 71 players with no reserve player granted a spot in the field. That is among the likely changes to occur next year, to assure at least 72 players.


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Bob Harig

BOB HARIG

Bob Harig is a senior writer covering golf for Sports Illustrated. He has more than 25 years experience on the beat, including 15 at ESPN. Harig is a regular guest on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and has written two books, "DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods" and "Tiger and Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry." He graduated from Indiana University where he earned an Evans Scholarship, named in honor of the great amateur golfer Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. Harig, a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America, lives in Clearwater, Fla.